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on 1 May 2015
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve never been more torn with a book until now. It’s mainly because there are several parts of More Than This that I really enjoyed, as well as there were several parts that wanted me to rip my hair out. How does one decide a rating on that? Can someone guide me down the right path, please?

Mikayla is 18 and on the night of her prom, she catches her now boyfriend having an affair. Heartbroken, she meets a guy named Jake Andrews at the same restaurant they went to pre-prom and decides to spend the night with him and his friends. The story essentially belongs to Mikayla and Jake; it’s mostly about the development of their relationship; which I did somewhat like. I did, however, not like what had to happen to others for them to become a thing.

Tragic after tragic event happen in this book. It got to the point where it went way beyond the rank of “unrealistic”. I enjoyed it at first, but it quickly started milking “fate” and “meant to be”. It had me thinking whether this actually was only contemporary fiction, and not mixed with fantasy as well?

I felt like both Mikayla and Jake were pretty alright characters. They mostly had good sides, but they were sprinkled with childish and immature toppings leaking of them now and then. It will most likely make you sigh – a lot. They know each other for ONE day and yet they’re already together, getting jealous when either of them is talking to someone of the opposite gender, they’re already so dependant on each other – and it gets a bit much! Jealousy is never cute; especially not in this book. A part of me couldn’t help but think whether she was compensating the loss of her same-night-ex-boyfriend James with Jake? Either way, I didn’t like the quick progress.

Mikayla was a good person all along in this book. Although I won’t say that’s the only reason she got accepted by Jake’s friends and family straight away, because he definitely helped her a whole lot. Not that it’s bad or anything, it’s just that Jake’s “protectiveness” took it to a whole new level, he couldn’t even trust his best friend Logan to be alone with her. Honestly, it was both annoying and pathetic when Jake asked Kayla if Logan and she were “playing family with his little sister”.

Mikayla and Jake’s relationship was bumpy, but things seemed to be very laid out for them. If Kayla was a maiden in distress, Jake would figure out how to fix it. He would for instance suddenly get the resources to fix her biggest issue, but I won’t spoil it. To me, it seemed very random. McLean could have played it out in so many ways, so why pick the easy route? (Am I being too analytical?)

This review is mainly about the unrealistic aspects with this relationship, which I can deal with it minor forms, but when a book shoves one unrealistic happening after another in my face, I honestly can’t. In More Than This, the biggest thoughts occupying Mikayla head was Jake, Jake and even more Jake. I really liked how she spoke about her family because it seemed warm-hearted. Even though that was more towards the end of the book, I suppose it was well worth the wait.

Jay McLean’s writing isn’t anything special at all, but More Than This is a book that’s very easy to read. There’s dual POVs, the chapters are short, and before you know it, you’re already either halfway through or already reached the ending! More Than This also contained a lot of funny moments and dialogues that did make me hold down a chuckle at three in the morning.

Warning: this book contained a lot of sexual tension and touching, which neither the description nor Goodreads genres had listed. :’)

To sum it up, please don’t be fooled by my two star rating. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I was torn but I did quite enjoy it!
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on 23 September 2013
What an amazing story, I only bought it as another author Tijan recommended it. It was a journey, although fiction, that was written in such a way that you felt every piece of pain and despair that Mikyla went through. How the best friend treated her, disgusted does not start to describe her. As for Jake he is what super heroes are made of. I sincerely hope there is another book as this author is just WOW. I would MORE THAN recommend this book. No cliff hanger either.
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on 17 December 2014
More Than This is an emotionally charged story revolving around a girl who has just lost everything she held dear to her in one fell swoop. From both main character's points of view we go through the hurt and the tragedy along with them. Mikayla loses a lot in a short space of time with one witness to it all; Jake Andrews. He's an almost stranger but he takes her under his wing in her time of need and builds up the shattered pieces of her once whole self. Through this forms a strong connection to each other but Kayla doesn't know if she can give herself to someone when she's only half-fixed.

The prologue was what sucked me in. Everyone says that the beginning of a book is what matters because who's going to carry on reading if you're about .5 seconds away from dozing off? No one. This very first chapter was intense and for such a short piece of writing it did the job of keeping me interested. Betrayal? Death? Murder?! I definitely did not expect those last two from reading the synopsis.

For such an unhappy prologue the first chapter was such a contrast. I got to see Kayla pre-tragedy which I think was very important to include now that I've reached the end. Even though her family joked at her expense it was happy and joyful and I really felt what Kayla felt. There was lots of laughter and excitement and I found myself smiling to myself wondering how it can go from wanting to junk-punch her own dad for singing a rude version of Baby to life-altering tragedy. But I guess that's the thing; it can take only a second to lose everything. I knew pretty soon that something was up with Megan and I was right about it all too. The whole thing was pretty cliche but it happens. This is the turning point in the book. This was where things went from carefree to utter loss.

It's hard to write reviews for books where so much happens because I'm now finding that there's so much I can't write about in case I spoil it for someone. So let's start with the characters.

The main character, Kayla (also known as Micky and Mikayla) was someone I grew to love. She was beautifully broken and I still cannot fathom how she got through each day. The things she went through are unfathomable to me and I can't say I'd be as strong as she was if I were in her position. I liked that she allowed herself to feel and didn't apologise for feeling sad or crying. Too often characters like her will try to act tough and hold their tears back but all that's doing is causing a dam and when it breaks, the story breaks with it. Kayla was emotional but she also grew to be head-strong. Who says you can't be both? I was super proud of her at the end for what she decided.

"I don't think you should let bad people dictate whether you have a good life. "

Now for Jake, the male main character. I liked him too, less so at some points throughout the story but generally his character was really well developed. He had a past, one he doesn't talk too freely about but through those experiences he became a much better person. He could be modest, shy and hesitant but he could also be loud and explosive when it mattered. He was constantly there for Kayla even when he thought she didn't want the comfort and I found myself wishing for a Jake Andrews. I wanted to knock him out at times though, I really did. He could be jealous and a complete caveman when it came to his relationship with Kayla. I understood it when she would speak to her ex boyfriend but sometimes things were so innocent it was hard to believe that Jake would blow his top like he did. It bothered me a lot when he would stress out about how she doesn't like him, how she just wants to be friends etcetc but I guess they were both like that. It was their own faults for guessing what the other wanted and not actually communicating out loud. So yes I liked Jake but sometimes he could be a pig. Typical neanderthal-knuckle-dragging boy.

The group that started off as 'Jake's friends' were wonderful characters. I truly found myself wanting a group of friends like this. There was Heidi, Cam, Lucy, Logan and Dylan and every one of them made Kayla, a girl they'd known for a few minutes, feel totally at home within their company. It was the easy kind of friendship, no questions. The girls were my favourite, they went to extreme lengths to make Kayla feel welcome after what she'd gone through and whilst the boys did this too it was the girls who really came through for her. They offered clothes, personal items and comfort. Lucy even got a 'book best friend' through meeting Kayla and the friendship was instantaneous. Nothing like a good book to bring together two people. Jake's family was just an incredible addition. Once again they brought Kayla into their lives, no questions asked, they just did it. A second family. Truly good people. Here's a quote from Logan;

"Maybe you don't need to be a complete person, or maybe you do. But maybe he's it - maybe he's the other half of you."
This coming from the boy without the girlfriend!

Something I absolutely adored about this book? The guys cried. I know it's a minute part of the story but it really made me respect Jay McLean as an author. Boys don't cry. They're told it's wussy and girly to show emotions and to cry when sad or happy and I think that's why I was so surprised when it happened the first time. That doesn't happen often in books or real life. Guys are always portrayed as macho and nothing-can-touch-me but I really loved seeing the boys expressing such emotion. They weren't afraid to let others see them cry. BOYS YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CRY!!!! Always, always, always. Ultra-respect for Jay here!

There was definite instalove here but... I don't know why but I don't hate it. It just seemed different. I knew it was there but because they'd experienced all of these things together and formed a connection like they were each other's life support it just seemed normal and expected. Plus Jake was always such a good person even to a stranger so, hell, I'd fall for him in an instant too. It was lovely to watch him care so much for her and, relating to the above paragraph, how he didn't do the whole 'Nope, I can't be in love with a girl no way!' thing. It was just a fact to him. He knew how he felt and although he took his time in telling her he didn't fake indifference in any way. He actually grew so dependent on her, and vice versa, that it almost became unhealthy.

One thing I did not like was how Kayla stayed even though I think she was right to want to move out even just for a little while to find herself. She wanted to find who she was without Jake who had become pretty much attached at the hip since 'that night'. I wish she had moved out, even if she went back a week later, she'd have known she could be alone. I never got to see that and I really wish I had.

I had an idea about the twist at the end. I was going back and fourth between two possibilities and trying to work out HOW but I knew the gist of it and even though I did I wasn't disappointed. That whole chapter was major closure not just for Kayla but for me as the reader.

What I find the hardest about writing reviews for realistic fiction is that it could be real. Like this isn't just a story, this could easily be someone's life. Not word for word of course but this could happen to someone and I'm sure it has. As I said above I cannot imagine how that feels and for the author to write about it with such fierce emotion is incredible. It felt real and it hurt when I put myself in Kayla's shoes but I doubt it hurt half as much as it actually would if any of this happened to me. Unfathomable.

More Than This was an emotional rollercoaster with definite highs and lows. One second things were getting hot and heavy and the next they were screaming and crying. Some parts were hilarious, some were heart-shattering, some were pure happiness and truthfully I loved every second of Jake and Kayla's story. I guess you could say I "more-than-a-lot" liked this book! It is so hard for me to put into words how much this book truly meant to me, I'll never be able to explain it. All I can say is read this book and then tell me how you feel.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely but only for 17+ years old simply because of the sex and language. If you're looking for a book to help you regain a little faith in humanity this one is for you.
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on 5 September 2013
***I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***

"In one night my fairytale ended. Or it may have begun"... ~ Kayla

What should have been the perfect night for Mikayla Jones ends up being the worst night of her life. Two people that she loved and trusted betrayed her, and the people whom she loves more than anything in the world are taking away in the worse way possible. In a short space of time, her world is turned upside down. On that same night you could call it fate or destiny she meets Jake Andrews who turns out to be simply amazing.

Kayla was friendly, funny, sarcastic, and even after all that she went through Kayla such a strong character. Within the first few chapters my heart when out of her. Jake is kind caring and just the perfect friend. From the very beginning Jake takes care of Kayla, being the rock, the support that she needed when her heart is shattered, and he is there to help her piece some of it back together and move on with her life. No question about it you will love Jake Andrews.

"I think I'm love with this beautifully broken girl"~ Jake

Do not settle for anything less that the Jake Andrews of the world. Because they exist, and not just in fairy tales. ~ Kayla,

Kayla and Jake are such a great couple together, but they do they have their ups and downs, and misunderstanding, Okay I will say the lack of communication did irritate me at times. The relationship in not instance love which make a change from some of the New adult book that I have read lately, it builds up very slowly it was lovely to watch it develop but boy a few times even I was frustrated at how slow they did go. The feelings Kayla and Jake have for each other are deep and passionate, and WOW talk about sexual tension at times. This book had some hot steamy moments even though there is hardly any sex. I wasn't disappointed, and you know me I love a bit of smut ;)

"And if this happens, when this happens, plants are going to collide, and the world around us will explode". ~ Jake

"The sexual tension between Jake and I is off the charts. I'm actually scared I might combust and second. No joke"~ Kayla

The story is about love, loss, friendship, strength, hope, healing and finding happiness. Told from both points of view, which as you know I love, really you get inside Kayla and Jake heads.It started off with a bang, and after 17% I was hooked I knew I was not going to put it down until I had finished it. I really did love this book. It wasn't too high on the drama, I cried, I laugh, I wanted to punch a few people, and bang the heads together of others. Jay McLean without a doubt took me on that emotional roller coaster that I love in a book.

This book had some awesome secondary characters both Kayla and Jake's families are lovely and very funny. Then there are Jake's friends Logan, Cam, Lucy Heidi and Dylan, loved them just as much as Kayla and Jake. I love their friendship; their banter, and how they all are truly there for each other. Logan could be an ass, but he was sweet, and his heart was in the right place. (So glad he is getting his own book)

"He's seen you at your worst and he still fell in love with you. Like, truly, the forever kind of love with you. And I'm sorry, because I think you are wrong. Maybe you don't need to be a complete person, or maybe you do. But maybe, he's it. Maybe he's the other half of you." ~Logan

Love Lucy especially drunk Lucy she was too funny. There was even a character that I did not like at the start, but by the end I warmed to them.

Jay McLean has written a book that pulled me in from the start I like her writing style, and I found the story flowed really well. She created characters that you can't help but fall in love with. Her reference to The Sea Of Tranquility, Ludacris, One Direction Justin Bieber, made me laugh, and no I'm not a believer.

Don't worry there is not a cliffhanger, just a sweet epilogue. I will tell you on the very last page there is a twist that will leave you open mouth. I would recommend that you go and 1-click this book as I don't think you will be disappointed.

More Than This gets 5 stars from me.

A few more quotes:

"God Jake, I so much more than a lot like you."~ Kayla

"Mikayla, I passed that stage a long, long time ago." ~ Jake

"You'll know in that moment, through that kiss, that you've just let someone own a piece of your heart, and you'll live happily ever after". ~ Kayla
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on 24 July 2013
More Than This by Jay McLean

5 beautiful, emotional, Jake Andrews stars!!

"Because I need to know. I need to know how she feels and what she wants from me. From this. If she wants me more than this."

I love it when you stumble across an unknown author, take a chance, start a book, can't put it down, devour it, finish it and with a big fat happy smiley face, think WOW, what have I just read and that is exactly how I felt after reading More Than This!!!

Jay McLean where have you been hiding, this book was awesome!! A great mix of humour, heart ache, romance, love but most of an amazing relationship between Mikayla and Jake. It was ugly and beautiful all at the same time. The circumstances under which these two meet is a high school girls biggest fear..finding out your boyfriend of more than four years has been cheating on you on prom night...and to make matters worse...with your best friend since you were 5 years old, not only that, they have been doing it behind your back for 2 years!! WTF!! Megan, god I hated her..she was one selfish B. It was fate that Jake and Mikayla met, if it wasn't for Logan, Jake's best friend spilling beer over Mikayla, she would never have found out and Jake wouldn't have been there to pick up the pieces, Jake has a lot to thank Logan for!

Jake is Mikayla's knight in shining armour, he comes to her rescue, witnessing her meltdown after her showdown with James and Megan. What a total douche James is!! He takes her to his prom, introduces her to his friends and the rest is friendships are born and so is some sizzling chemistry between Jake and Mikayla. Although you feel the sexual tension radiating off the page, it is made all the more believable as they become friends before lovers..there is a slow build up in their relationship. Mikayla's night goes from bad to horrific and Jake is still there, comforting and holding her, everything she needs and wants he is there, so bloody perfect...swoooon.

Mikayla slowly but surely has to try and put her life back together again, Jake's family are totally amazing and welcome her with open arms. Jake, as it turns out is a star baseball pitcher, everyone has high expectations for him, everyone knows him and it takes a while for Mikayla to connect the dots when she realises this is THE Jake Andrews that her dad has been freaking out about for years...more than FATE!

Their relationship is truly beautiful, it is a like watching a butterfly escape from its cocoon for the first time and slowly but surely unfurls it wings, flaps them a bit to dry up and get its strength and then you get to nearly the end when finally it is strong enough to fly. It was a truly beautiful story. Yes it had its ups and downs and misunderstandings, but what new relationship doesn't. They did need to be a more open with each other about their feelings but they got there eventually. It takes some wise words from Logan for Mikayla to really see....

"Jake, he saw you at your worst. He was there when your life changed and your heart shattered. He was there to help you piece some of it back together. He's seen it all Micky. He's seen you at your worst and he still fell in love with you. Like, truly, the forever kind of love with you. And I'm sorry, because I think you are wrong. Maybe you don't need to be a complete person, or maybe you do. But maybe, he's it. Maybe he's the other half of you."

Jake knew that he couldn't rush Mikayla, no matter how hard it was for both of them.

"Because if I kiss you, then I'll want to taste you, and if I taste you, then I'll need to F you. And when I F you, it means your mine. And when I make you mine, I want it to be in our bed. Not a hotel room... Is that Okay?" Holy. Effing. S***

This book made me cry, a lot, both with sorrow and joy and it is hard for an author to convey so many emotions and not all can carry it off, but this one can. I was an emotional wreck throughout this book, it was like being on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but I was like an addict, I could not put the book down, it was like my kindle was glued to my hand and it would not let me let go until I had read the last sentence....and what a last sentence it was...OMG...I had to re-read it as I didn't get it at first, but when I realised my school girl error it was WTF!! And then my heart broke all over again!!

This book is not a cliff hanger..but there are going to be more books to the series, Logan's story is up next and I cannot wait for that one!

My favourite bits, Mikayla's bedtime story from her mum. So poignant and so emotional!

"The very first kiss with your Prince will change your life. When your lips touch for the first time, the earth will feel like it stops moving, but in the same moment, the world around you spins. It'll feel like fireworks in the night sky. Like a bright light in the darkness. You'll feel your heart beat fast in your ears but silence will surround you. And when you open your eyes and look at each other, and really see each other. You'll know in that moment, through that kiss, that you've just let someone own a piece of your heart, and you'll live happily ever after."

The letter boxes and the letters that both Mikayla and Jake write, a[...]

I would say this is a Mature YA/NA book, there are some sexy scenes in here, all done extremely tastefully. Jake is a bit of an alpha male, he can be hot headed if anyone even so much as looks at Mikayla the wrong way, whilst for some it can irritating for me it made him all the more loveable. The side characters in this book are truly amazeballs and make for a fantastic series to follow, I really cannot wait!!

I can't even convey how much I loved this book, just give it a go, it is well worth the money and as I have said an amazing read. What are you waiting for...go won't be disappointed!

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on 10 September 2013
This book is a heart wrenching, beautifully written, emotional rollercoaster of a read. Mikayla suffers a tragedy all in one night and her life is changed forever. A chance meeting with Jake (a stranger to her) that night and he ends up being her saviour.
I loved Jake he is a wonderful character, so amazing to Mikayla. His family and friends are also fantastic too, they help Mikayla through and what could be a really sad read has lots of funny and very touching moments.
This is a beautiful first book Jay well done, can't wait for Jake's best friend Logan's story.
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on 16 November 2015
4.5 Stars

More than this is book #1 in the More Than series, I love this author and I can’t believe I’m only just getting round to reading this series.

This book starts as a series of connected events that basically shatter Mikayla’s life. That poor poor girl just gets one bad thing followed by a horrendous thing dealt to her in the same day and my heart went out to her, I just wanted to reach in and give her a massive hug.

Jake is perfection, I honestly can’t think of another way to describe him, he’s just utter perfection. I want my daughter to marry him, hell honestly I want to marry him.

The best way to describe this story is a fairytale out of a nightmare.

How Jay McLean managed to write a story where something that awful happens and yet the main focus is still the romance is beyond me but I loved it!!

Normally I like my romance a bit older and a LOT dirtier lol but these characters pulled me in and I got consumed by the story.

Kayla at times was frustrating but I can kind of understand her point of view even though I was really like “Just tell him you love him!!!”

This story is sweet and innocent and oh so young but gorgeous and I’m off to start Logan’s book now lol

More Than This gets 4.5 stars from me.
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on 30 January 2014
Do you believe in soul mates,in love at first sight. You do, then this books is for you.
On prom night Mikayla finds out her boyfriend of 4 years and her best friend have been cheating on her. Jake rescues her and she spends the night with Jake and his friends , it is clear the they have an immediate connection, Mikayla's night and life take a truly shocking turn ( not gonna say what). The story is about Mikayla learning to live again, falling in love and learning to trust.
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on 8 January 2014
This was one of the most frustrating books I have ever read! Good storyline, and well written although parts of it were a bit far fetched, especially with the twist at the end involving Megan. I found that hard to believe. But the most annoying part was the fact that Mikayla and Jake never had sex together until right near the end of the book. It was like the book was set in the Victorian era it was so stupid! They are both 18 year olds who have already previously had sex so it's not like they are virgins and this part of the story just wasn't realistic for me. Then when they actually did get together physically it was such a let down. There was this big build up in chapter after chapter where they nearly get it on and then when it actually happens, it's so flat and boring. Very disappointed and this story was definitely not as good as it could have been. I am going to attempt to read the second book which involves Logan, Jake's best friend, as I do like the way this author writes but I just hope the story is better and more realistic and that we are not kept waiting for them to have a personal relationship. I will let you know in my next review when I have read it.
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on 5 February 2014
I could not and would not put this book down. it had me for the get go..... It was a very sweet and hot at times story. loved Kayla, jake and thier circle of friends (Lol Lucy). I dont like giving spoilers. So I will just say - its a good book. cant wait to read the next - ok, ok, ok better get some sleep..... its now 4:03.
I so wish it was the weekend, not to have a lie in but so I could start book two right away.
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