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I read this back in May, but I forgot to add it to my Goodreads shelf If I remember right, I got somewhere around to the halfway point before calling it a day I started skimming probably around 25%.I m always skeptical when an MF author decides to dabble in MM Avery Aster reinforced that skepticism You can t take a carbon copy MF story and just tack a penis on to the character that would have been the female It doesn t work like that But then I m not sure that the author actually wanted to write MM This is so a gay best friend book Blake s purpose is to be a caricature of the stereotypical gay man Aloof, effeminate, flamboyant, a bit of ditz, and only has female friends Not to say that there s anything wrong with that, but just the tone of the book had my hackles up There s a distinct difference between writing a stereotypical caricature and writing a well rounded character with the above mentioned characteristics Further, Blake s POV was so like a tween than a college freshman I think the author was going for humour, but I thought it made Blake look silly and immature Again, back to the caricature point.I don t even remember Miguel Though I do remember being bored as hell by him XO, Blake is billed as a standalone, but I m not sure it is I could follow along to a point, but then it got muddled I think if you re already a fan of the Undergrad Years series, you d probably enjoy this.The only reason I read this book was because I wanted to read the continuation of Blake and Miguel s story in Unsaid, in the related Manhattanites series But this author s writing just doesn t do it for me It was childish, at best If you d like to read Gossip Girl and 90210 on crack, this is the series for you For long time readers of MM, I d suggest staying far away Review copy provided through NetGalley. The third installment in The Undergrad Years, XO, Blake, is all about Blake, the Gay Best Friend GBF Blake is the sweetheart of the group and the only one who doesn t come from fame, fortune and money But he s definitely in a league of his own The gang is finally at college and Blake is pining after two Latino men that make his blood boil But once again mayhem creeps in It seems as if none of them can catch a break However, the silver lining for Blake is that he definitely lands in good hands Lex, Vive, Taddy and Blake get through the trauma together and keep their whit and humor at the forefront This one isn t as hilarious at the previous two books, but it still has it s charm We get to see the closeness of Blake and his parents and see where he gets his awesome personality from Avery does an exceptional job of writing this series and keeping this characters very honest and raw I really recommend this series each book is very quick and can be read alone. I feel like I ve been waiting forever for a Blake story and although this was a short look into the younger life of Blake, rather than his full novel, Unsaid I was so freaking happy to finally get this boy in my hands Avery delivers another fantastically funny read that still manages to be hot as fuck I loved the dynamic between Diego, but so fell in love with the idea of him and Miguel You cannot go into a story from Avery Aster without being prepared to laugh your ass off There is just no way to avoid it Sexual antics are pushed to the extreme and this group of friends just can t help but land themselves into trouble at every turn I adore getting a chance to see the start to these characters, their bonds, their adventures all of it I can t wait to read Unsaid and get my hands a little dirty with Blake The Undergrad Years are like The OC, 90210 and Gossip Girl on steroids I love it This is part three of The Undergrad Years, a spinoff series or prequel series if you will, to the very popular Manhattanites Series by Avery Aster The Undergrad Years features or favorite besties Lex, Taddy, Vive and Blake as college students Each installment has the close knit clan in crazy adventures attracting attention and drama everywhere they go This installment is all about Blake Morgan III I loved finding out about Blake I have to admit out of all the Manhattanites he was not my favorite I don t know why, but I wasn t getting why the girls loved him so much Reading XO, Blake and going back in time to the college years with them taught me so much about Blake He is a generous, kind, loving friend to all and these girls would be lost without him Avery Aster manages to write stories that make me laugh out loud, hold my breath in anticipation and get emotional all in a few chapters Though there are lots of funny parts to XO, Blake there are also some serious issues that the author address very tastefully Blake is dyslexic when he writes in his journal Avery was sure to show us his mistakes which made the character all the realistic There is also talk among the friends as well as between Blake and his mother about HIV AIDS and safe sex Important issues that I still find even today people have a hard time talking about.The romance part of this installment is the new relationship between Diego and Blake The sex scenes were very well written as I would only expect from Ms Aster There is a bit of light BDSM scenes that I though played well in the story I felt so bad for Miguel loving Blake from a far poor guy I can t wait to read Unsaid, which is the Manhattanite series story of Miguel and Blake I read it on Wattpad but it was revised since then so I am curious to read the changes that were made.Taddy, Vive and Lex make their voices known in Blake s life as well as Thor which of course means big scandals galore This book can be read as standalone but I highly recommend reading the whole series as well as the Manhattanites series.The Undergrad Years are about friendship, first love, and growing into adulthood albeit kicking and screaming Received and ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review [ FREE ] ⚖ XO, Blake ☲ For Fans Of The Dark Comedy BDSM Film Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down Comes An Erotic Exploration In Domination And Submission Where Ivy League Students Let Their Naughtiest Desires Run Wild If You Think My Besties Lex, Taddy, And Vive Have Had Some Bad Luck Earlier This Year, Cut To Me At Glamorama Last Thing I Remembered Was Dancing With Diego And Miguel From My English Class, When The Room Started Spinning And Not In A Good Way We Got Sick Think Regan In The Exorcist Taddy Was Rushed To The Hospital Holding On For Dear Life, I Was Carried Out By The Boys And Taken Back To Their DormNow I M Waking Up In Diego S Bed And Miguel Keeps Staring At Me From Across The Room I Ve Wanted To Get Into These Dudes Pants Since The First Day Of Class But Diego Told Me He Likes To Be Tied Up And Wait For It Spanked WTF The News On TV Reports That Last Night We All Got Roofied And Vive Just Texted Me Saying That Someone Is Out To Kill Her Could This Semester Get Any Bizarre Blake Morgan, College Freshman, Gay Best Friend, Virgin The Undergrad Years Is A New Adult Contemporary Miniseries About First Loves, Independence, And Everlasting Friendships This is the third instalment of the Undergrad Years and this is Blake s story While this is labeled a standalone, I highly recommend you read Love, Lex and Yours Truly, Taddy currently free before this one as there are parts from both novellas mentioned in this one.The start of this novella, like the other two in the series, and gives a little background on Blake before he starts at Avon Porter Academy.Blake is the gay guy who from a Very early age, has know it and been encouraged by his family to embrace and be true to his true self.Flip to not long after where Yours Truly, Taddy left off and Blake and the girls are trying to get back to normal after their plane accident and want to have a little fun So when they are randomly invited to Glamorama, a night club they aren t old enough for, they decide it s time to test out their fake I.D.Their fun night turns into a disaster real fast when someone spikes their drinks, leaving the girls in hospital and Blake being taken home by Diego and Miguel, the two hunky Latino s he s been lusting after since school started.Love, sex, booze, loyalty, drama, a touchy subject or two, and new found friendships, everything you ve come to expect from Avery Aster and her Manhattanites Now, I just need Unsaid I Need Blake s full length novel I need Blakepretty pleaseeeeee with some sexy men on top, please bring it out real soon, Avery Oh before I end this, I have to mention this There are hundreds of hot, witty and downright amazing quotes throughout this story, but when I read the quote below, I was completely blown away by it It s such a simple sentence, but so WOW It s been almost 24 hours since I ve finished XO, Blake and I can Still remember word for word that Blake s father said to himARC provided by author in exchange for honest reviewFor reviews, news and giveaways, check out Saucy Reviews on Kinky Korner at Blog Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram The Manhattanites are finally at college, ready to put all their nightmares behind them and to move on It s time to experience all that college has to offer, love, laughs and sometimes learning But are all their troubles really behind themOk, this is a first four stars for a book that I did not like.Yes, you read that right I just didn t get on with it, I ve read socialite based books before, but this was like the book version of Made In Chelsea honestly, I struggle watching the adverts for that thing, never mind the actual program.And it s hard to pin down why, exactly Something about this group of upper society darlings just rubbed me the wrong way.So why the four stars, when I ve given books that I actually like less It does exactly what it sets out to do It is a short episode in the lives of the Manhattanites don t let the 250 page quote fool you, about half of that is tasters of different books, adverts, getting to know the author etc The bulk of the story is about 180 pages long 8% 81% on my Kindle.It faces some pretty serious topics, and does so in a way that feels real You get to see how ignorantly the school system treat Blake for being the only openly gay student, and that s just the prologue It goes on to deal with the dangers of underage drinking of not having responsible sex dealing with tragic accidents XO never patronises these subjects, nor does it over dramatise them These are just a group of young people, coping with the situations thrown at them.The romantic aspect in this is how I remember feeling at uni you have a main crush, then there are several other guys who you really like In the end it doesn t matter which one of them you start a relationship with, it will feel right for that time.Aster writes a good sexual tension between Blake and Diego I thought it was a little unnecessary to put in the synopsis opening paragraph in italics about the erotic exploration etc Seriously, it s just a bit of rope It s very mild.Ok, so all in all, it s not my cup of tea, so I won t be hurrying to continue with the series.But for Made In Chelsea fans go check out Aster s page because the series is currently on sale, with each book at only 99p. I am a fan of all the stories I have had the pleasure of reading in Avery Aster s The Manhattanites series, so I absolutely love these glimpses back into the earlier years of Lex, Taddy, Vive and Blake As brazen and bold as they are today, it is fantastic to see the teenage side of them Avery always delivers a hilarious read that always manages to be scorching hot as well This is Blake s story who gets his heart READ AND LET ME KNOW No doubt about it, this story had a lot of laughter fun but make no mistake, it also had it s heart wrenching moments of sadness You cannot go into a story from Avery Aster without being prepared to laugh yourself silly There is just no way to avoid it Sexual antics are pushed to the extreme and this group of friends just can t help but land themselves into trouble at every turn But there s real life drama in the mix..I really liked that fact that Blake has always know that he was gay and was open with his loved ones about those feeling despite the struggle he had with the community supporting his lifestyle choice this group of kids make for a great read because Avery Aster always gives us a balance in her stories of struggle and laughter I ve really enjoyed reading about Blake s younger self and look forward to from Avery ARC provided by Book Enthusiast Promotions via NetGalley for an honest review So I have to say I struggled with a rating on this one I think the biggest problem I had was that this was my first book by this author, so I felt that while I was given some information, I still felt like I was missing out I didn t have a real connection to any of side characters because it was such a short snippet into their lives that there wasn t enough time I think to truly enjoy this I would have needed to read the other books that are out.That being said I did enjoy this book These college students lives are a train wreck, but you don t want to look away You want to see what could possibly go wrong next The entertainment value of this book was high and Blake made me laugh The things that he thought or that came out his mouth were awesome if like that sort of thing which I am.I feel like this book is important to Blake s future with the things that happen His meeting up Miguel and Diego and what those relationships will be like in the future You find out important information about all of the friends actually, so I know this book has it s place it just seems disconnected when I haven t read any of the other But because I was grossly enthralled by this different kind of story, I have feeling I will intimately know it s place soon. I have really enjoyed The Undergrad Years series Number 3 in the series is no exception It is just a fun quick read with some racy exploits as Blake finally connects with one of his crushes Blake has had a crush on roommates Miguel and Drake since seeing them the first day in class at college, but is not brave enough to approach them Fate steps in when they rescue him from a club after the Manhattanites get roofied He discovers that Deigo has had a crush on him too I can t wait to see where this goes and if Deigo is the one or maybe it is Miguel.It is amazing the trouble that Vive, Lex, Taddy and Blake find themselves in and so fun to read about I recommend this read The stories in this series are stand alone but I enjoyed reading about each of the Manhattanites.I was given a copy of this through Netgalley for a honest review.