Hey y'all! I DID it! Yay! I completed all the books for this challenge. I'm not sure how much I really came out ahead in the end because I added sequels, recommendations from friends, and of course, I had to one-click quite a few yesterday due to some awesome sales. *grins* So, basically, I need to do this challenge every month for, oh, about the next 100 years!
Thanks Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @ Because Reading is better than real life for hosting this fun challenge!
******Epic by Ginger Voight
Fierce Trilogy #3
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Genre: Coming-of-Age, Romance
Source: eARC from the author in exchange for honest review
Rating: 4 Worms
In book three of the Fierce Trilogy, "Epic" brings this Rubenesque coming-of-age series to a close, tying up the final crises keeping our intrepid but beleaguered reality couple, Jace and Jordi, from their fairytale ending.
Plus-sized singing sensation Jordi Hemphill is on the quest of a lifetime. Set adrift in the previous book, "Unstoppable," she must fill new, gaping holes in her family tree. It begins as an escape, but it ends up the ultimate confrontation of the demons that continue to haunt her from her abusive past. Worse, she still struggles through current scandals, splashed on every tabloid for the world to see. As a result, her career stagnates while Jace Riga is on a rocket to super-stardom, tearing the star-crossed lovers even further apart.
Though she has filed for divorce, she is still regrettably tied to Eddie, her weaselly husband in name only. He gleefully proceeds with his plan to woo and ultimately con Jordi's estranged friend, Shelby Goddard, to tap into her family's wealth. He moves to Tennessee to cozy up to her domineering father, Coy, who has just announced his run for the Senate. Together he and Eddie get closer and closer to a seat of power, while Shelby continues to languish in ill health and depression. Jordi debates on whether she can make the sacrifice needed to save her friend, but it could pound the final hammer into her career and end her own dreams of super-stardom for good.
It doesn't help that a fellow musician, Griffin Slade, drives her insecurities even further down the tubes. This unapologetic ladies man feeds into all of Jordi's insecurities as they are thrust together in project after project. His aloof demeanor only underscores all the rest of her esteem issues, all of which threaten to drive her back to her one true comfort: food.
Jace remains stubbornly steadfast, trying to save Jordi from her self-destructive behavior. But this final lesson Jordi has to learn alone. She can no longer depend on Jace, her family, or the world giving her the validation she has been denied for so long. She must dig deep, work hard, and let go - or else she'll lose everything she's fought so hard to achieve.
In the end, only Jordi can save Jordi. This is her journey of self-discovery, and at long last, self-acceptance.
Ginger, you had me in tears at the dedication of this book. I'm making it my new mantra. :) Epic is a great ending to Jordi's story - although I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of these characters.
Epic is the culmination of all Jordi's been through thus far, plus a few additional hurdles fate has put in her path. We watch as Jordi looks for her birth mother, tries to fit all the pieces of herself together, and ultimately grows into the fierce young woman we knew she could be. At times, I got a little irritated with Jordi. She has a tendency to be overly melodramatic. But then I'd remind myself, she's only 19. Also, she tears herself down repeatedly. She can rationalize her thoughts and habits, but can't seem to steer herself away from that destructive behavior. But I know this is something all girls/women do - I do it. Maybe that's why it was painful to read. One aspect where Jordi's maturity really showed was in the way she put others first. Jordi has always tried to take care of and protect those she cares more for. However, she didn't go about it in the most logical ways. In Epic, she matures enough to realize the right way to care for her loved ones.
Jace isn't as present in Epic and although I understand why - Jordi needed to learn she could stand on her own - it still made me sad. He was busy with this new album and preparing for his tour, but he is always there when he is needed most. *sigh* He is always the voice of reason with Jordi and in this way, he's very much a balancing force. And the yin to Jordi's yang.
We are introduced to some new characters in Epic, and I'm hoping for more from them. Guitarist, Griffin Slade, is instrumental in part of Jordi's emotional growth, and I admit to falling for him...just a little bit. ;) There's also Maya and Diego Palermo, who are pieces of Jordi's puzzle. It was a pleasure to see how they filled in holes in Jordi's soul. And there's a new girl-power band, Unapologetic B!tches! I do hope to see more of them.
Of course, Jordi's journey couldn't be complete without closure between herself and Shelby and Eddie. I was so proud of Jordi for accepting responsibility for her actions where Shelby was concerned - and of course, this included Eddie as well. Eddie - y'all know I think he's a narcissistic butthead. Ms. Voight gives him a fitting comeuppance, and I have to say I didn't see that coming. ;)
There is a political bent to Epic but it fit in well with the story and was done tastefully. Shelby's dad, Coy Goddard, is running for a Senate seat. I delighted in the commentary on relevant issues and the spin Ms. Voight put on this element of Jordi's story.
I did feel like things tied up a little too quickly at the end. I would have appreciated being witness to the resolutions Jordi arrived at rather than being told they happened.
I think I liked Jordi's story even more than that in the Groupie trilogy. I think the reason is that I identify and relate to Jordi in a way I didn't with Andy. I also think Jordi grew more over the course of the series. And I reveled in seeing all Jordi's dreams come to fruition.