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Defiance Falls

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All I wanted was a little trouble. Okay, so maybe choosing Cruz Donovan’s 18th birthday party wasn’t the way to go about it. Three years ago, I fell for him. I thought he fell for me too. But when he broke it off, he took my heart and, as if that wasn’t enough, he took my best friends too. They aren’t the same boys I knew before high school started. They’ve got all kinds of All I wanted was a little trouble. Okay, so maybe choosing Cruz Donovan’s 18th birthday party wasn’t the way to go about it. Three years ago, I fell for him. I thought he fell for me too. But when he broke it off, he took my heart and, as if that wasn’t enough, he took my best friends too. They aren’t the same boys I knew before high school started. They’ve got all kinds of secrets they’re keeping from me. If I want back in, I’ve got to be ready to play their game. I might be a killer soccer player, but I’m not real eager to join a team when they won’t tell me who the opponent is, how to score a goal, or what rules I’m supposed to be following. I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, a pawn in games I don’t understand. Maybe I never should have gone looking for trouble in the first place. Is it too late to change my mind?


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All I wanted was a little trouble. Okay, so maybe choosing Cruz Donovan’s 18th birthday party wasn’t the way to go about it. Three years ago, I fell for him. I thought he fell for me too. But when he broke it off, he took my heart and, as if that wasn’t enough, he took my best friends too. They aren’t the same boys I knew before high school started. They’ve got all kinds of All I wanted was a little trouble. Okay, so maybe choosing Cruz Donovan’s 18th birthday party wasn’t the way to go about it. Three years ago, I fell for him. I thought he fell for me too. But when he broke it off, he took my heart and, as if that wasn’t enough, he took my best friends too. They aren’t the same boys I knew before high school started. They’ve got all kinds of secrets they’re keeping from me. If I want back in, I’ve got to be ready to play their game. I might be a killer soccer player, but I’m not real eager to join a team when they won’t tell me who the opponent is, how to score a goal, or what rules I’m supposed to be following. I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, a pawn in games I don’t understand. Maybe I never should have gone looking for trouble in the first place. Is it too late to change my mind?

30 review for Defiance Falls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥

    Hazel has been living her life dedicated to sports and school with little to no time spent on anyone or anything outside of her future goals. All of her friendships are surface level, and she likes it that way. The only real friends she's ever had basically abandoned her when she broke up with her boyfriend and their friend, Cruz years ago. They still talk to her and acknowledge her to some extent (some of them are her cousins after all), but things were never the same. Senior year, Hazel decides Hazel has been living her life dedicated to sports and school with little to no time spent on anyone or anything outside of her future goals. All of her friendships are surface level, and she likes it that way. The only real friends she's ever had basically abandoned her when she broke up with her boyfriend and their friend, Cruz years ago. They still talk to her and acknowledge her to some extent (some of them are her cousins after all), but things were never the same. Senior year, Hazel decides she needs to spice up her life. She wants to take risks and have fun before going off to college next year. That leads her to Cruz's birthday party, and after a swim and a joint, Cruz seems ready to claim Hazel once again as his own. In fact, the whole group wants her around. The only problem is they're hiding something. As their secrets start unraveling, she realizes her whole life may not be what it seems. Defiance Falls is different from the other books I've read from Ali Dean, but I enjoyed it just as much. The writing style sucked me in immediately, and before I knew it, I had read the entire book. All the mystery, angst, sexual tension, and violence makes this new adult romance so much fun to read! Before I conclude my review, I feel inclined to mention that this book leaves off on a pretty big cliffhanger! Throughout the story, I was dying for answers in the same way Hazel was, so I was super frustrated when it ended without giving me any. That being said, the books in this series are releasing extremely close together, so we won't have to wait long for answers! If you can't take cliffhangers though, I would definitely wait until at least the next book comes out before picking this one up. If you're a fan of new adult romance and/or Ali Dean's writing, I recommend this one to you!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Na

    Usually I have my reviews spiked with quotes I loved from the book. So please don't get the wrong impression when this is a review without quotes. Only because I didn't find anything in the book I'd liked to mark or quote here, that absolutely doesn't mean I didn't love or enjoy the book. Quite the contrary. I had a fantastic time with it. Defiance Falls was my first book by Ali Dean and definitely won't be the last! Especially not with a cliffhanger like that. When I started the book I never Usually I have my reviews spiked with quotes I loved from the book. So please don't get the wrong impression when this is a review without quotes. Only because I didn't find anything in the book I'd liked to mark or quote here, that absolutely doesn't mean I didn't love or enjoy the book. Quite the contrary. I had a fantastic time with it. Defiance Falls was my first book by Ali Dean and definitely won't be the last! Especially not with a cliffhanger like that. When I started the book I never expected to dive into a page-turner like this. It quickly became "one more chapter" until I was finished. Captivating characters (specially the twins), turn of events, secrets, power games, chemistry, thrill - all in a perfect harmonic mix. Defiance Falls is an addicting joyride that will make you heart race and your mind spin!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate McMurry

    Fabulous start to a new, romantic-suspense, YA series Hazel Ross and Cruz Donovan were close friends in middle school, along with Hazel’s two cousins, Bodhi and Emmett Boyd, as well as Spike Matlock and Peter Moody, whom she had been friends with since kindergarten. They are all extremely talented soccer players in a small town where soccer is king, Defiance Falls, which is 30 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts. Hazel played on the boys’ soccer team until she was 12 and was forced to switch to Fabulous start to a new, romantic-suspense, YA series Hazel Ross and Cruz Donovan were close friends in middle school, along with Hazel’s two cousins, Bodhi and Emmett Boyd, as well as Spike Matlock and Peter Moody, whom she had been friends with since kindergarten. They are all extremely talented soccer players in a small town where soccer is king, Defiance Falls, which is 30 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts. Hazel played on the boys’ soccer team until she was 12 and was forced to switch to the girls’ team. After Cruz transferred from the local private school to the public school, he took her place on the boys’ soccer team. Cruz is a few months older than Hazel and the other four boys, though they are all in the same grade. All five boys and Hazel were close enough that Hazel considered the boys a second family—until three years ago. Just before their freshman year, when Hazel and Cruz were only 14, they were briefly a couple. They shared a few sessions of very intense kissing, until Cruz broke it off between them shortly after his 15th birthday. He broke Hazel’s heart in the process, and she couldn’t bear to be near Cruz after that. Which meant she hasn’t spent time since then with her former crew of male best friends, and has hardly even spent time with her cousins, other than weekly dinners at their mutual grandparents’ home. Until the night of Cruz’s 18th birthday party, shortly before the beginning of their senior year. Suddenly Cruz is constantly in Hazel’s space, acting as if they were never apart, and simultaneously drawing Hazel back into close connection with her former friends and her two cousins. The trouble is, it soon becomes apparent that the boys—most especially Cruz—are keeping dangerous secrets. The mystery seems to be connected to an ongoing feud between Cruz’s family, the Donovans, and another bigwig family in town, the Malones. Both families are extremely rich, and the Donovans in particular own the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Soon after the patriarch of the Malone family, Flynn Malone, turns up dead, presumably from suicide, the Malone boys, who are around Hazel’s age, begin acting threatening toward Cruz and the boys. And Hazel suddenly finds herself potentially in danger from the Malones as well, simply by being in the boys’ radius. This fast-paced, romantic-suspense, young-adult novel is a change of pace for the talented Ali Dean. Though she has previously written romantic-suspense, it was in the context of the primary focus of the books being on the heroine as a star athlete, secondly on the romance, and thirdly on the suspense plot. In this new series, though both Hazel and Cruz are star soccer players, there are no scenes of either of them engaged in playing soccer. Instead, the main spotlight is primarily on the romance, and secondarily on the suspense plot. This is a very gripping read on both counts. The sexual chemistry between Hazel and Cruz is intense, and the suspense plot is scary. I enjoyed very much reading about Hazel’s father, who is a single dad who had her at age 17 and, when her mother abandoned her, raised Hazel with the help of his parents. He is only 34, and a very loving and “cool” dad who does MMA and works from home as a high-tech computer programmer. I also enjoyed reading about Hazel’s loving grandparents, and her two quirky male cousins. This trilogy seems to be essentially a three-part novel, so this book ends, as advertised, on a cliffhanger, with many important, suspense-plot questions remaining to be answered. Per the author, Book 2, Defiance Falls Revolution, releases October 10, 2019, and Book 3, Defiance Falls War, releases October 30, 2019. I don’t normally like to read a series with cliffhangers until all of the books in the series have been released, because I am too impatient to know what comes next to wait for the next installment of the story. However, I am such a big fan of Ali Dean’s fiction, I immediately grabbed a copy of this book as soon as I could get it, and I am eagerly anticipating the next two installments for more chances to read about Hazel and Cruz. Parental Advisory: I would personally rate this book PG-13 due to foul language, underage drinking, marijuana use, and sexual activity. It is recommended for older teens and adults. Note: I received a review ARC from Booksprout. I rate this book as follows: Heroine: 5 stars Hero: 5 stars Subcharacters: 5 stars Romance Plot: 5 stars Suspense Plot: 5 stars Writing: 5 stars Overall: 5 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    queen_of_the_books_18

    ”I’ve waited years for you. I can wait one more night. I loved this book! I read it in one sitting. Hazel was such a great character, she has a past with the boys and in senior year of high school is finding herself in situations that she doesn’t like because doesn’t want to need them. She fights it with everything she’s got. She thinks they’ve forgotten about her, that Cruz has forgotten about her and their childhood bond. When in actual fact there is a reason the guys weren’t allowed in her ”I’ve waited years for you. I can wait one more night. I loved this book! I read it in one sitting. Hazel was such a great character, she has a past with the boys and in senior year of high school is finding herself in situations that she doesn’t like because doesn’t want to need them. She fights it with everything she’s got. She thinks they’ve forgotten about her, that Cruz has forgotten about her and their childhood bond. When in actual fact there is a reason the guys weren’t allowed in her life anymore. Hazel also has a close relationship with her dad, or so she thinks but finds out he’s been lying to her too. Her world is turned upside down. Secrets lies fights Deceit loyalty Hazel needs answers. Hazel unbeknown to her needs Protection This book is packed with action and suspense. Enter the world of secrets surrounding Cruz, Hazel, Emmett, Bodhi, Spike and Moody. Also Damn you to hell for that cliffhanger!! 😂 Give me book 2 I need answers Dammit!

  5. 4 out of 5

    T Paul

    If you want a good time here you go. A terrific beginning for a new series. This author has a way of writing that keeps you involved, engaged and glued to the pages. I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alana Coddaire

    I loved it! It's one of those books you get totally lost in and realize its already 2am and you have to wake up in about 4 hours... but you keep reading anyway. Perfectly crafted full of romance and suspense.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lorie

    Confusing read.. This was a dud. The mc was so desperate to be with the h. The h hurt her when they were together but yet it wasn't explained. The h left her at his birthday party and she was upset but then she still goes with him the next day. This book was confusing with constant hints of something like a rivalry between two rich family without explanation. The mc was a ditzy, desperate, and had no backbone. Too much telling with very little showing on this book. Boring, did not flow, and had Confusing read.. This was a dud. The mc was so desperate to be with the h. The h hurt her when they were together but yet it wasn't explained. The h left her at his birthday party and she was upset but then she still goes with him the next day. This book was confusing with constant hints of something like a rivalry between two rich family without explanation. The mc was a ditzy, desperate, and had no backbone. Too much telling with very little showing on this book. Boring, did not flow, and had confusing sub-plot. Gave up at 49%. It felt like the author wrote this book to publish something.

  8. 5 out of 5

    samsbookstagram

    Defiance Falls is the first book in a new series by Ali Dean and, full disclosure ends on a cliffhanger. This book was nothing like I was expecting, and everything that I wanted. I went in figuring I'd read a chapter or two while getting a pedicure and then pick it up later that night or the next day and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting (well technically two - I had to drive home from the nail place, but I promptly ignored all plans and picked it right back up!). Being the good Defiance Falls is the first book in a new series by Ali Dean and, full disclosure ends on a cliffhanger. This book was nothing like I was expecting, and everything that I wanted. I went in figuring I'd read a chapter or two while getting a pedicure and then pick it up later that night or the next day and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting (well technically two - I had to drive home from the nail place, but I promptly ignored all plans and picked it right back up!). Being the good girl all through high school, Hazel decides to finally have some fun senior year. Consumed with soccer and her grades, she hasn't made time for many friends or going out, so when she shows up at an end of summer party more than a few people are surprised. And when the boy she loved long ago starts talking to her, she has no idea her life is about to take an unexpected turn. Reuniting with Cruz, her cousins & old friends, Hazel learns that everything she thought she knew isn't what it seems. Defiance Falls is a roller coaster ride of epic proportions, full of twists and turns you never see coming. I couldn't get enough of this story, and that cliffhanger left me begging for more. I loved the characters, the storyline, the secrets I'm still trying to figure out, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series! **ARC received in exchange for an honest review**

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amazeballs Book Addicts

    I loved Defiance Falls. It sucked me in and I read it in one sitting. I totally ignored the part that this one is book one in the Defiance Falls series and the cliffhanger took me by surprise. I loved every one of the characters. There's a lot of layers and secrets being kept in this story. I felt a lot happened in the story but there are still a lot of secrets. Hazel is just getting back into hanging out with Cruz, Emmett, Bodhi, Spike and Moody. She doesn't really know what she's getting into. I loved Defiance Falls. It sucked me in and I read it in one sitting. I totally ignored the part that this one is book one in the Defiance Falls series and the cliffhanger took me by surprise. I loved every one of the characters. There's a lot of layers and secrets being kept in this story. I felt a lot happened in the story but there are still a lot of secrets. Hazel is just getting back into hanging out with Cruz, Emmett, Bodhi, Spike and Moody. She doesn't really know what she's getting into. Her and Cruz have great chemistry. Cruz is possessive and sweet and I'm so rooting for them. Oh the ending has me so wanting book two right now.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Krystel

    I was given an advance readers copy of this book and have decided to write a voluntary honest review. This is my very first book by this author the blurb pulled me in. I definitely like Cruz but I found that he was sometimes soft when it came to Hazel, it's clear to see he deeply cares for her. But i also get it he doesn't want to lose her again. So he's trying to play it smart. But I also know Cruz won't let things slide anymore and that's a side I can't wait to see. I can't wait for book two. I was given an advance readers copy of this book and have decided to write a voluntary honest review. This is my very first book by this author the blurb pulled me in. I definitely like Cruz but I found that he was sometimes soft when it came to Hazel, it's clear to see he deeply cares for her. But i also get it he doesn't want to lose her again. So he's trying to play it smart. But I also know Cruz won't let things slide anymore and that's a side I can't wait to see. I can't wait for book two. I have to many unanswered questions I need answers too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Rohrs (words we love by blog)

    Words escape me as I try to piece together a review that does the start of this trilogy justice! Heart racing, pulse skyrocketing moments are weaved throughout this book and the angst can be felt with each word! I loved every second of this book and was hooked from page one! Chores were ignored as I consumed this story! I have no idea what to do till Defiance Falls War but I know Ali will make it all worth the wait! Cruz and Hazel have a complicated relationship and it only gets worse as they Words escape me as I try to piece together a review that does the start of this trilogy justice! Heart racing, pulse skyrocketing moments are weaved throughout this book and the angst can be felt with each word! I loved every second of this book and was hooked from page one! Chores were ignored as I consumed this story! I have no idea what to do till Defiance Falls War but I know Ali will make it all worth the wait! Cruz and Hazel have a complicated relationship and it only gets worse as they closer but both are finding that even through the crazy there is only calm when they are together! Cruz makes his intentions known but it’s all in Hazels palms as she decides what the future holds, the only problem are the people she didn’t see coming who are out for more than just ruin!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aylisha Witter

    As I read this book, I wasn't overly impressed. In my mind it was a consistent 3 stars because it was an enjoyable read with room for improvement. However, once I got to the end, I decided to give this book an overall 4 stars because I had not realised how much I needed the rest of this trilogy until then. The cliffhanger is immense and I can't wait for 10th October for the next installment!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ophelia

    ONE OF MY FAVOURITE READS EVER The shame of being an ARC reader is you have to wait even longer for the next books! The synopsis for this book was very low key so I had no idea what the book would really be about and usually I'm not a big fan of not knowing but boy am I glad I read this book regardless! It has a phenomenal plot that draws you in from start to finish. There's no part which is boring or feels like a fill in and the author has an amazing way of drip feeding you key information that ONE OF MY FAVOURITE READS EVER The shame of being an ARC reader is you have to wait even longer for the next books! The synopsis for this book was very low key so I had no idea what the book would really be about and usually I'm not a big fan of not knowing but boy am I glad I read this book regardless! It has a phenomenal plot that draws you in from start to finish. There's no part which is boring or feels like a fill in and the author has an amazing way of drip feeding you key information that builds up to a bigger plot. There's the perfect balance between too much information at once and not enough that you get frustrated. This book is about Hazel and her old group of friends who she stopped hanging out with when she broke up with Cruz. Going into her senior year she realises that there's more to their break up than she realised and she starts hanging out with them again. This time round though she realises there are a lot more secrets than she thought and that everything is not as it seems. I don't want to get any deeper into this plot though as I don't want to spoil it for you but trust me when I say that this is a must read. Cruz at surface level is the tough, cool guy but when he spends time with Hazel you see a different side to him that's sweet, persistent and knows what he wants which happens to be Hazel. He's back and ready for her to be his again. Words cannot express how much I already love Cruz and I can't wait to uncover more layers to him. Hazel is hardworking, keeps her head down and fits in with everyone yet has no one she'd consider a best friend. After she gets scouted for college in her first few years of high school for soccer she decides to relax and let loose her senior year which includes going to Cruz's 18th birthday party where all the exciting stuff begins! Emmett and Bodhi are Hazel's cousins who are in the same group as Cruz. The family dynamic is lovely to read and shows how they're both protective of her but also trust her to make her own decisions. Moody and Spike are the two others in their group of friends and so far we know little about them apart from the fact they're super funny but something tells me there's so much more to know. I just want everyone to read this book at once so I'll have more people to talk to about it however, consider that this does end in a cliffhanger so if that's not your thing then wait for the other two books but don't fret because they come out soon after the first is released. I'd recommend this book to anyone as it has quickly become one of my all time favourites but especially to fans of Tijan and Meagan Brandy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amara

    The absolute WORST part of being an ARC reader for a series is that I have to wait even longer for book two to come out!! Secrets galore with a cliffhanger extraordinaire!! Add that to an alpha possessive high school stud? That’s my favorite combo. Basically, if you liked Fallen Crest, you'll like this. If you like Ali's Stark Springs series, you'll like this. I definitely think it's a bit more old school Ali Dean, which suits me fine, because those were my favs. Blurb: All I wanted was a little The absolute WORST part of being an ARC reader for a series is that I have to wait even longer for book two to come out!! Secrets galore with a cliffhanger extraordinaire!! Add that to an alpha possessive high school stud? That’s my favorite combo. Basically, if you liked Fallen Crest, you'll like this. If you like Ali's Stark Springs series, you'll like this. I definitely think it's a bit more old school Ali Dean, which suits me fine, because those were my favs. Blurb: All I wanted was a little trouble. Okay, so maybe choosing Cruz Donovan’s 18th birthday party wasn’t the way to go about it. Three years ago, I fell for him. I thought he fell for me too. But when he broke it off, he took my heart and, as if that wasn’t enough, he took my best friends too. They aren’t the same boys I knew before high school started. They’ve got all kinds of secrets they’re keeping from me. If I want back in, I’ve got to be ready to play their game. I might be a killer soccer player, but I’m not real eager to join a team when they won’t tell me who the opponent is, how to score a goal, or what rules I’m supposed to be following. I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, a pawn in games I don’t understand. Maybe I never should have gone looking for trouble in the first place. Is it too late to change my mind? Preorder sale price of 99 cents! It will go up to full price upon release.** Release date is September 19! Defiance Falls Revolution is coming 10.10.19 Defiance Falls War is coming 10.30.19

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hinson

    "I recognized it because it was something I had felt on the field occasionally. With the right group. The right team . The right game. A worthy opponent. Only I didn’t really know what the game was, why I was on the team, or who we were playing." When I saw this one on Booksprout, I instantly knew I had to read the ARC. I loved the cover, and the blurb pulled me in and promised a story to be interesting. I haven't read any of Ali's other books, but I can honestly say that this one makes me want "I recognized it because it was something I had felt on the field occasionally. With the right group. The right team . The right game. A worthy opponent. Only I didn’t really know what the game was, why I was on the team, or who we were playing." When I saw this one on Booksprout, I instantly knew I had to read the ARC. I loved the cover, and the blurb pulled me in and promised a story to be interesting. I haven't read any of Ali's other books, but I can honestly say that this one makes me want to check out what else she has to offer. It is a refreshing take on a genre that is often times oversexed and unrealistic. "I might have felt untethered at times, uncertain of my future or my life plan, but with Cruz, I could just be." Told from the POV of our heroine, the first installment of the Defiance Falls series tells the story of a star soccer player and her re-entry into her old group of best friends (guys) as well as her relationship with their "leader" Cruz. Its not an enemies to lovers or a bully romance....instead it is more the story of a teen girl trying to discover her place in her world and making the right choices that will keep her and her loved ones happy and safe. It does end on a rather shocking cliffy, but will pick up with book 2 and 3 releasing in October. "Tame was impossible when it came to the two of us. It had always been like this . It was one of the reasons I figured we’d kept our distance from each throughout high school. We were all or nothing." We are introduced to our heroine and narrator Hazel Ross is a rising senior and star soccer player in a town where soccer is "king", Defiance Falls. With a promising future already pretty much in the bag, she decides to take a break from it all and have fun. Her decision leads her to Cruz Donovan's 18th birthday party, a decision that will also change the course of her life. You see, Hazel has only really "belonged" fully in one group, a group of the best male soccer players that include her twin cousins and her ex Cruz. But three years ago that all ended, only now they want her back in and Cruz has decided to finally claim her as his. "I just wanted to be with him, experience him, as if I knew it might be my last time." She should be happy.....being back with her guys and finally having the one guy who has always held her heart. But she soon realizes these guys (and her dad) have dangerous secrets they are keeping, secrets that make the Malones from Mayflower Academy a VERY scary enemy. With so many secrets and lies being told, Hazel knows only harm comes from being left in the dark. She is a pawn in a game she doesn't understand. "How could I be a part of his life, friends with these guys, if I was in the dark on something that was clearly a huge part of who they were?" Will Hazel discover what their hiding before its too late? Or will she choose walk away from Cruz and her guys? This does end in a cliffy of epic proportions, so be prepared to wait until October to continue this series. "You might not have realized this, Hazel, but you’ve been my girl since our first kiss." Overall, I found this was a great start to an intriguing series. Ali did an amazing job at creating Hazel as an authentic feeling teen girl. The way she acts, talks, thinks, etc was as if I was reading the journal of a real 17 year old senior. Its refreshing when so often teens are portrayed as "adults" with way too much power with no real authority doing things that normal kids don't. There isn't any unneccessary drama added to the plot, going the route of everyday life over dramatic events just to make the story "better".....she was able to make her story exciting by the layer of mystery that shrouded it from start to finish. Just when you think that Hazel is rambling or going completely off track, you discover the "rambling" actually adds to or is part of the plot.....there isn't a lot of useless info or page filler in this one (even though at times it feels as such). It also adds another level of excitement with how Ali feeds us just enough crumbs as the story carries on without revealing the full truth. We know just as much as Hazel, and I love that we are just as much in the dark as she is.....its going to make the big reveal that much more worthy! “You’re with me, Hazel Ross. I know it. Everyone else knows it. Your ex-boyfriends even know it, they’ve always known. And I know you know it, too.” As far as the characters go, Ali wrote each one true to their age and personality type. There isn't profanity just for the sake of using it (there is some but its done so minimally) and the sexual activity is almost nonexistent....its slow building in that dept. The guys do behave in some ways that are questionable, but it has to do with things we are in the dark about currently so I'm sure it will make sense when we get the truth. And as far as others saying that Cruz is too possessive.....well, I guess I read more intense books because he was only VERY mildly possessive, it was more protective than possessive.....him and the guys just want to keep her safe. If I had to pick anything that I didn't like, it would be the wishy-washy actions of Hazel and the way she contradicts herself in some parts of the book. I can't go into too much detail without spoiling it, but at times it goes beyond typical teenage uncertainty. That paired with the incessant soccer (and future) that at times added little to the current plot....its the only reason I took a star away. "I love you, Hazel Ross. I have since we kissed for the first time at the Lake and I never stopped. I never will." This book is definitely worth adding to your library....I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't finish this excited for books 2 and 3. Do yourself a favor and take a chance, this promises to be a very satifying series. "These guys might have been the reason trouble came for me in the first place, but they were also the reason I felt more alive than ever."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    ARC REVIEW Angsty. Mysterious. Intriguing. ‘Defiance Falls’ by Ali Dean is book one in a new YA mature trilogy. This book is intriguing in the most amazing way, with scenes that will create so many questions you’ll have to take a break from reading, scenes that will make you swoon and a moment later make you wanna throw something at the wall. This is a fast-paced book that can be read in one sitting but you might need a shot of whiskey when you finish and a good ol’ cold shower. It all starts with ARC REVIEW Angsty. Mysterious. Intriguing. ‘Defiance Falls’ by Ali Dean is book one in a new YA mature trilogy. This book is intriguing in the most amazing way, with scenes that will create so many questions you’ll have to take a break from reading, scenes that will make you swoon and a moment later make you wanna throw something at the wall. This is a fast-paced book that can be read in one sitting but you might need a shot of whiskey when you finish and a good ol’ cold shower. It all starts with Hazel, Number 1 soccer player in the women division of Defiance Falls, trying to live a little during her senior year of High school, trying to find that thrill and excitement that only comes with knowing you’re doing something wrong. And there is only one group that can help her achieve her goal. Hazel is focused and determined, feisty as hell and even more stubborn. She likes her independence and she hates when people get too close to her, she’s an amazing daughter and an okay friend but that’s fine by her. It might get a little bit lonely in her life but she’d much rather that than the chaotic mess she found herself involved in when she decided to rejoin her old group and seek a little wildness. Cruz is the most wanted boy in Defiance Falls, he has an air of arrogance and cockiness to him that is like a girl magnet, he’s intense and definitive. Cruz has a mysterious vibe that everyone loves but when it comes to protecting his group and those he loves, everyone also knows that he will go to any distance to do that. Especially hen the subject at hand is the one girl he could never forget, the one who broke his heart and managed to ignore him, the closed-off and evasive one, the one his enemies have no fear using to get to them. The group’s dynamic is, to say the least wild. Cruz, Moody, Spike, Emmett, and Bodhi have all different personalities, all big and confident, but they all have one thing in common, Hazel. Things start to get messy though when Hazel starts asking questions and dangerous events start happening all around them. It doesn’t help her emotions are blurry and every step of the way is a push back of sorts. She might be a pawn in their game but she is the most important one. The one every single person involved is willing to protect at all costs. This book is full of secrets and untold truths, and because this is only book 1 in a trilogy, we won’t have all our questions answered in ‘Defiance Falls’. The sexual tension, the laugh-out-loud moments, the swoon moments and the WTF moments are what make this book worth it. I can’t wait to see what happens next, to learn the truth and understand people’s actions. If you like an angsty mysterious book, filled with repressed anger, amazing characters and thirsty moments then this is the book for you and you better check it out.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    Tame was impossible when it came to the two of us. It had always been like this. It was one of the reasons I figured we'd kept our distance from each other throughout high school. We were all or nothing. I'm trying to figure out how to review this but I'm having a hard time. This book reminds me of a lot of books I've read. One of them being Boys of Brayshaw High. The main difference is that this one was also good, but subtle. I'm getting slow burn vibes. We're slowly feeling out the Tame was impossible when it came to the two of us. It had always been like this. It was one of the reasons I figured we'd kept our distance from each other throughout high school. We were all or nothing. I'm trying to figure out how to review this but I'm having a hard time. This book reminds me of a lot of books I've read. One of them being Boys of Brayshaw High. The main difference is that this one was also good, but subtle. I'm getting slow burn vibes. We're slowly feeling out the people and the city and the plot. There isn't anything concrete going on, but a rivalry between two families. I really liked that this one didn't just jump into the drama. I loved feeling the build up because we got to see the formation of the chemistry of our two leads. This is told in a singular POV and it does that to keep us on our toes. The only thing is that I wish we get more of what's going on. Our heroine and the readers are still in the dark. That's fine and we did leave off on a cliffhanger. But I think if we were given something a little more to go off on then this book would've been a five stars. I wasn't built to be a prisoner in a warehouse, supposedly for my own protection. I was a fighter, not a damsel. If Cruz wanted a girl he could hide away, and the guys wanted a girl who allowed that, then I shouldn't be apart of their world. I wasn't me. And it never would be. Plot: ♡♡♡♡ Hero:♡♡♡♡ Heroine:♡♡♡♡ Chemistry:♡♡♡♡♡ Steam: Cover:♡♡♡♡ Writing:♡♡♡♡♡ HEA: (view spoiler)[ cliffhanger (hide spoiler)]

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lozzie

    Defiance Falls is an incredible, angsty, sexual frustration-at-its-finest extravaganza. The author did an incredible job at building the tension between two teens who are destined to be together yet apart at the same time. This novel is a teen angst romance. Based in High School, we get to see Hazel flirting between dangerous lines at Defiance Falls, and we also get to meet the handsome Cruz Donovan, which is a bonus in itself. This book is angsty to the max. The tension between Hazel and Cruz Defiance Falls is an incredible, angsty, sexual frustration-at-its-finest extravaganza. The author did an incredible job at building the tension between two teens who are destined to be together yet apart at the same time. This novel is a teen angst romance. Based in High School, we get to see Hazel flirting between dangerous lines at Defiance Falls, and we also get to meet the handsome Cruz Donovan, which is a bonus in itself. This book is angsty to the max. The tension between Hazel and Cruz is palpable. Well, this entire book is angst city. There is a lot of tension between all the character, and it leaves you intrigued as to why. Reading this book will leave you with a lot of questions. I have a lot of questions, which will hopefully be answered in the next book, which i am soo excited for! It leaves you intrigued until the very end. I loved the gang. I loved how they were so loyal to one another and close they were. They weren't friends, they were family. I loved this book! It was full of excitement and interesting and kept me reading to the very end. I adored the characters, and I loved the story - exciting from the very beginning. Defiance Falls is a brilliant and action-packed read with lots of tension of all kinds. I seriously cannot wait for the second book now. Highly recommended!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Narmen Daik

    So I am a big fan of Ali Dean and especially her Pepper Jones Series. After the series ended, I was devastated. I lived months believing that I would never find a book series that would live up to that one. Let me just say............the first book of Defiance Falls was as good if not better in its own way (Pepper & Jace will always have a special place in my heart). To talk about the first book of Defiance Falls, it is definitely worth the read. I could not place it down and was utterly So I am a big fan of Ali Dean and especially her Pepper Jones Series. After the series ended, I was devastated. I lived months believing that I would never find a book series that would live up to that one. Let me just say............the first book of Defiance Falls was as good if not better in its own way (Pepper & Jace will always have a special place in my heart). To talk about the first book of Defiance Falls, it is definitely worth the read. I could not place it down and was utterly devastated when it ended on that cliff hanger. Hazel, the main female character of the book, is strong, independent, stubborn, and determined to live out her life after spending most of it focusing on soccer and school. The way she navigates the events of the story and remains true to herself was very inspiring to me. Of course, we also have the male character in the book, Cruz, who is everything you could want in a book crush! I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a suspenseful storyline that keeps you guessing and turning the pages to find out what happens. I ABSOLUTELY LOVVVVVEEEDDD IT. Read read read this book as soon as you can.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nina King

    Defiance Falls is a great start to a new series, and Ali Dean at her best. In this volume we meet Hazel Ross, a star soccer player at her high school destined for stardom at Harvard. She grew up playing soccer with the boys, and had a core group of guy friends in Spike, Moody and her twin cousins Bodhi and Emmett. After Cruz Donovan transfers from another local school, they share a summer romance before starting high school. When Cruz breaks it off, Hazel distances herself from the group. The Defiance Falls is a great start to a new series, and Ali Dean at her best. In this volume we meet Hazel Ross, a star soccer player at her high school destined for stardom at Harvard. She grew up playing soccer with the boys, and had a core group of guy friends in Spike, Moody and her twin cousins Bodhi and Emmett. After Cruz Donovan transfers from another local school, they share a summer romance before starting high school. When Cruz breaks it off, Hazel distances herself from the group. The night of Cruz’s 18th birthday, the group reconnects, but it isn’t long before Hazel discovers everyone is hiding something and keeping secrets from her. The secrets and lies put Hazel in danger she would never have seen coming, and makes her question everything she thought she knew about her friends and even her family. Man, I seriously love Cruz! I think it would be impossible to read this book and not fall in love with him a little bit. He’s so protective of Hazel, and his adoration is obvious. I’m really looking forward to the next two installments of this story. This has all the intrigue and fated lovers goodness that is catnip to my soul.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fay (Funkybooklover78) Moore

    Possible spoilers Oh man Where do I start with this book ... It was everything ... The story flowed effortlessly and sucked me in from the first page ... Hazel dated Cruz when they were younger but hazel kept it secret from her dad because she couldn’t date till she was 16... But before she had chance to say anything Cruz broke up with her... Cruz was still hanging with the cousins so she decided to keep her distance .. Only now Cruz won’t let her And neither will her cousins and friends after all .. Possible spoilers 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 👇🏼 Oh man Where do I start with this book ... It was everything ... The story flowed effortlessly and sucked me in from the first page ... Hazel dated Cruz when they were younger but hazel kept it secret from her dad because she couldn’t date till she was 16... But before she had chance to say anything Cruz broke up with her... Cruz was still hanging with the cousins so she decided to keep her distance .. Only now Cruz won’t let her And neither will her cousins and friends after all .. They were her friends first.. Cruz wants her back but then he never wanted to let her go in the first place... he broke up with hazel to protect her .. but those threats made an appearance anyway.. Now Cruz wants her with him and is done pushing her away... There’s a war brewing and hazel gets pulled in.. That ending Omg that ending .... This is the first book that I read by this author and she now has a new stalker...er... I mean fan ... The story/writing style was amazing .. Can’t wait for book two.. 5 amazing stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cassia

    I have read all of the works published by Ali Dean, but this may be my new favorite and that is saying something because I love the Pepper Jones Series! I love the dynamics between Hazel and Cruz and the rest of the gang! Something is going on in Hazel's world and everyone knows about it but her -- including her dad! Hazel must decide whether to stay blind to whats going on or embrace the guys and everything they are involved in.Towards the end I felt the lead up coming to a cliffhanger but did I have read all of the works published by Ali Dean, but this may be my new favorite and that is saying something because I love the Pepper Jones Series! I love the dynamics between Hazel and Cruz and the rest of the gang! Something is going on in Hazel's world and everyone knows about it but her -- including her dad! Hazel must decide whether to stay blind to whats going on or embrace the guys and everything they are involved in.Towards the end I felt the lead up coming to a cliffhanger but did not expect where the story went! I can't wait for book 2 and I am already my second read of this book and pre-ordered a kindle copy despite receiving an ARC. The vibes of this story and writing style reminds me of several stories by Tijan as well as the Boys of Brayshaw High Series by Meagan Brandy! Happy Reading! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crisanda (Sapphire)

    *I received an advanced reader copy of this book for review, however all thoughts & opinions expressed are mine alone.* I flew through this book in less than a day! That's how interesting & exciting I found it! Defiance Falls is a little different from other Ali Dean books in the sense that even though our main character Hazel plays a sport, there weren't many scenes of her actually playing. But that didn't particularly bother me. The book itself was action packed and there was never a *I received an advanced reader copy of this book for review, however all thoughts & opinions expressed are mine alone.* I flew through this book in less than a day! That's how interesting & exciting I found it! Defiance Falls is a little different from other Ali Dean books in the sense that even though our main character Hazel plays a sport, there weren't many scenes of her actually playing. But that didn't particularly bother me. The book itself was action packed and there was never a dull moment. The romance and chemistry had my pulse racing! I was experiencing every feeling and emotion right along with Hazel, which to me is the mark of an excellently written book. My only complaint is that despite Defiance Falls being full of action, a whole book later I still didn't understand why any of it happened. Much like Hazel, I'm full of questions, and I hate not knowing! I suppose I'll just have to wait for the next book to come out...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julia Schwarz

    Defiance Falls has everything I like in a book - romance, action, suspense and great characters! Ali Dean really knows how to write characters so that they feel relatable even with everything going on in the book. I love Hazel who is a strong yet lovable character, who just wants to have a little fun and mostly get her friends back, who she "lost" years ago. Cruz Donovan is swoon-worthy yet also kind of dangerous but throughout the book we can really feel that he cares deeply for Hazel and that Defiance Falls has everything I like in a book - romance, action, suspense and great characters! Ali Dean really knows how to write characters so that they feel relatable even with everything going on in the book. I love Hazel who is a strong yet lovable character, who just wants to have a little fun and mostly get her friends back, who she "lost" years ago. Cruz Donovan is swoon-worthy yet also kind of dangerous but throughout the book we can really feel that he cares deeply for Hazel and that he never intended to hurt her. Hazel is trying to get their friends back - those who she never thought about losing in the first place but she is quickly sucked into something bigger, some deep dark secrets that everyone is reluctant to fill her in. And just when we think that we'll finally get some answers, it ends with a cliffhanger ... but this makes things just more interesting and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second and third books :-) I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gitanjali .C

    This is super fast paced romance thriller and I could hardly hold myself from finishing it..Now the suspense is killing me and I cant wait to read the next book!! Hazel and Cruz are super romantic and the scenes with their romance sizzles with electrifying chemistry!I loved hazel's tomboy nature and her relationship with her boys is so sweet. The thrilling storyline is very neatly written and is very gripping.Hazel's relationship with the boys in the past and now had me feeling annoyed at This is super fast paced romance thriller and I could hardly hold myself from finishing it..Now the suspense is killing me and I cant wait to read the next book!! Hazel and Cruz are super romantic and the scenes with their romance sizzles with electrifying chemistry!I loved hazel's tomboy nature and her relationship with her boys is so sweet. The thrilling storyline is very neatly written and is very gripping.Hazel's relationship with the boys in the past and now had me feeling annoyed at Cruz.That boy had me hating him initially but sumhow I liked him as the story moves on.The Boys are a perfect treat to my starving alpha loving heart..Yummy ones definitely!! I hate this waiting game but it'll so worth it when I get my hands on them

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge fan of Ali Dean's writing, and this one did not let me down! The main character, Hazel, is strong, independent, and athletic. Ali Dean is the queen of stories with female athletes, and I love it. I appreciate that Hazel is strong, yet we got to see many instances where she had to recognize where she was a bit disconnected from the world around her. The way she throws caution to the wind to be herself and explore relationships during her final year of I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge fan of Ali Dean's writing, and this one did not let me down! The main character, Hazel, is strong, independent, and athletic. Ali Dean is the queen of stories with female athletes, and I love it. I appreciate that Hazel is strong, yet we got to see many instances where she had to recognize where she was a bit disconnected from the world around her. The way she throws caution to the wind to be herself and explore relationships during her final year of high school is fantastic! Cruz is a fantastic male lead to this story, and he is someone you can't help but love and want more of! This is a great start to a new series, and I can't wait for the next two books!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Literally my two favorite things: Ali Dean & soccer. I absolutely loved this book. I loved that soccer was the sport the characters were great at and as someone who played soccer for 13 years, Ali Dean did a great job being realistic in what it takes to train and the work you have to put in.This book had everything. It had the couple you root for and to be honest, who doesn’t love the stories where the guy is all in for the girl and is willing to fight for her? A little bit of jealousy, a Literally my two favorite things: Ali Dean & soccer. I absolutely loved this book. I loved that soccer was the sport the characters were great at and as someone who played soccer for 13 years, Ali Dean did a great job being realistic in what it takes to train and the work you have to put in.This book had everything. It had the couple you root for and to be honest, who doesn’t love the stories where the guy is all in for the girl and is willing to fight for her? A little bit of jealousy, a whole lot of confidence. The overprotective friends and family. And a CLIFF HANGER. Which, I usually don’t read a book right away if I know a cliff hanger is coming but I read this book twice and am now dying to get my hands on the second one.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Reyne Clark

    Defiance Falls is Book #1 in another excellent Series by Ali Dean. I really enjoyed the mystery and drama that unfold in the storyline. And the characters, especially Cruz and Hazel, are interesting and entertaining. As always, sports are a big part of this book, (Soccer, this time) but not as integral as in previous books. I always love the way Dean writes her female lead characters to be strong and athletic, and Hazel does not disappoint this time around. This book does end in a cliffhanger Defiance Falls is Book #1 in another excellent Series by Ali Dean. I really enjoyed the mystery and drama that unfold in the storyline. And the characters, especially Cruz and Hazel, are interesting and entertaining. As always, sports are a big part of this book, (Soccer, this time) but not as integral as in previous books. I always love the way Dean writes her female lead characters to be strong and athletic, and Hazel does not disappoint this time around. This book does end in a cliffhanger and I'm looking forward to reading Book #2 to get some answers when it arrives. 4 Stars!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    This book is a new path from Ali Dean’s other books, and a well-written one at that! Full of intrigue and interesting side characters that constantly make you question their motives, this book will keep you awake until you’ve finished it. Has a cliffhanger, but the release date for the follow-up is only a short time away so worth reading in spite of it. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Ali Dean became a favorite with the Pepper Jones series, but Defiance Falls has definitely cemented her spot within my favorite YA authors! Hazel is a smart and talented soccer player enjoying summer before her senior year. Her biggest decision is whether to go to an Ivy League school or school with a better soccer program. Senior year should be cake! Until it's not! This story has the brooding alpha boys, suspense, and a hot dad! Book totally ends on a cliffhanger, so its a good thing the next Ali Dean became a favorite with the Pepper Jones series, but Defiance Falls has definitely cemented her spot within my favorite YA authors! Hazel is a smart and talented soccer player enjoying summer before her senior year. Her biggest decision is whether to go to an Ivy League school or school with a better soccer program. Senior year should be cake! Until it's not! This story has the brooding alpha boys, suspense, and a hot dad! Book totally ends on a cliffhanger, so its a good thing the next book comes out soon because I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

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