Book Review | “The Ten Year Reunion” by T.S. Krupa Third #Contemporary #Romance novel by the author of “Safe & Sound”!

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was offered to receive T.S. Krupa’s third novel “The Ten Year Reunion” in exchange for an honest review as well as host a special feature to coincide with the book if I elected to do so. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the novel “The Ten Year Reunion” direct from the author T.S. Krupa. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

My interest in reading The Ten Year Reunion:

One my favourite novels of [2014] as a 1st Year Book Blogger was Safe & Sound because it broke through a few literary barriers and told an honest story from a contemporary point of view whilst giving you a hearty Romance and a narrative that owned itself to it’s own living truth inside the world Krupa created. I appreciated the fact the #EqualityInLit inclusion of a happily engaged couple proved that when you seek out diversity and stories of equality, there can be a softness to the inclusion to where everything feels quite natural and organic, rather than purposely included to be ‘different’.

I like honest stories and especially Romances rooted in relationships, as these are my favourite kinds to read and thereby the ones I seek out the most to devour! On the contemporary and modern side of the ledger, since I read Safe & Sound and even a bit before, there is a bit of a gap in my reading life as I mentioned on a post (my first ’10 Bookish and Not Bookish Thoughts’ meme!) as much as I related a bit about this on my review of Robin’s Reward. Most recently, I finished reading my first Clare Chase Romantic Suspense novel which was not only written in a style of Contemporary Fiction I adore finding but kept me on the edge of my seat! Similar to Ms Krupa, Ms Chase writes characters of diversity with such an organic natural inclusion as to inhabit the story as if they were always meant to be a part of it.

The Contemporary story-teller who stands out as far as a serial author (from the past few years) would be Mary McNear who writes compelling and emotionally-driven fiction for readers who are seeking a stimulating read with an uplift ending! I have had the pleasure of reading her Butternut Lake series and cannot wait for her next release! It’s a hard genre for me to curl up inside because too often I find authors are not writing Contemporary Fiction in a style that I am particularly keen on reading. When I find authors like the ones I’ve mentioned and a handful of others I’ve happily blogged about over the past three years – their stories are ones that I will continue to champion and cheer for as they give us such a grounding of contemporary life in our crazy hectic modern world!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

My Connection to the Author: T.S. Krupa

Although we only tweeted a few times and exchanged preliminary emails to have a special showcase of her novel Safe & Sound featured on Jorie Loves A Story, I feel as though I have had the pleasure of getting to know her a bit better in the process! And, by extension her publicist Ms. Caitlin O’Brient Bauer (of Royal Social Media). As you will see as you retreat back to the Author Interview & Live Author Q&A threads of conversation, you will find Ms Krupa to be warm, engaging, and inspiring! I am blessed twice over for our paths to have crossed and I have my Jorie Loves A Story Twitter account to thank for bringing us together! I have been blessed to continue to work with her on her future book releases, as she is an author I love to read compelling and inspiring Contemporary Rom. I came to appreciate both of them as they give book bloggers their time and grace.

In the time since I hosted Ms Krupa last year until now [May 2016], our paths have separated a bit as I wasn’t able to return too frequently to #ChickLitChat (which ended up moving strictly to Facebook) nor interact as much as I had hoped to with her via the twitterverse. I lost touch for quite a long while to be honest, and when her beautiful note arrived into my Inbox about her third release, I felt truly blessed our paths had crossed at the publication of her debut novel. She’s definitely an author I consider a blessing to have known and I look forward to following her literary career.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her début novel. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Notation on Cover Art: Can I just say an evening sky full of clouds and the hint of fog is my kind of night to be caught up inside? I love grey skies in general and overcast days to me are the best slices of happiness we can have unexpectedly grace our lives – as they are such a lovely break from oppressive humidity and volcanic heat patterns — thus, this cover was instantly grabbing my attention! I liked how the typography ‘fades’ out in the clouds and how the pier provides a bit of an infinity impression which always seems to represent to me the various ways in which a path can knit together. There is always hope left when there is a path without end to be found in front of you! And, using purple simply charmed me as it’s quite literally one of my most favourite colours!

Book Review | “The Ten Year Reunion” by T.S. Krupa Third #Contemporary #Romance novel by the author of “Safe & Sound”!The Ten Year Reunion
by T.S. Krupa
Source: Direct from Author

Ten years ago, Danielle ‘Dani’ Jackson graduated from Coastal State University in Wilmington, North Carolina and left her heartache behind—for what she thought was forever. Now a promising pediatric surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital she has been invited back for her college reunion.

With encouragement from her best friend, Dani begrudgingly returns to face her past–the death of her friend and a broken heart from Jake Dillon, her first love. During her trip she revisits the four years she spent at CSU. By applying to CSU she defied her father and the ‘perfect’ plan he had laid out for her, which included attending an Ivy League school before medical school, but Dani had other plans. She traded in her father’s dream, for an institution with sandy beaches and soccer that made her feel at home. Dani never questioned her decision—she knew she was right. What she didn’t know, was how hard growing up was going to be.

At the reunion weekend she reconnects with her friends Adeline ‘Addie’ Smith and Colleen ‘Callie’ Schumaker. The girls met freshman year due to Addie’s persistence and quickly became inseparable, but after graduation they started to drift apart. The weekend is further complicated when Jake shows up. Together they all realize that life has been hard on everyone and no one’s life has been perfect. The reunion gives them the time to deal with the past and an opportunity for a second chance—for each of them.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692685440

Also by this author: Safe & Sound, On the Edge : Cover Reveal, On the Edge

Published by Avalon Haddam Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 378

Published by: Avalon Haddam Press

Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction | New Adult | College Reunions

Contemporary Romance | Second-chance Love

Converse via Twitter: #TheTenYearReunion

About T.S. Krupa

T.S. Krupa

T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Raised in a Polish household with a blended American culture, she is fluent in Polish. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University,where she also played field hockey. She earned her Master’s from Texas Tech University and recently graduated with her Doctor of Education from North Carolina State University. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

In 2014, T.S. Krupa published her award-winning debut novel Safe & Sound. In 2015, she released her sophomore novel On the Edge. The Ten Year Reunion was her third novel. Big City Dreams and Big City Dreams have followed. TS Krupa is signed with SBR Media Group.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Coming-of age never quite ends:

For Dani, life gave her a few hard obstacles to overcome quite early-on in her young life – as college was a breakthrough as far as finding her way out of her parent’s control but it entered her onto a path where heartbreak and sorrow would soon overcome her emotional resolve. Fast forward ten years after she graduated and Dani’s on a different level of self-growth – where she’s a bit unprepared for her emotions to take a stab at her heart whilst she’s testing waters with a new relationship. It’s fitting really, to see her become emotionally unnerved a bit by a dating situation that she felt was on it’s surface, a bit of fun and not something so serious as to derail her tight balance in all aspects of her life.

For me, I felt Dani was still on the fringes of coming into her own – she had never quite continued from where she left off in college, as those closeted ghosts were keeping her from growing further in her field but also, from having deepening relationships that could finally fuse into longevity. In full short, Dani had leftover baggage (which is very well understood why she would have it) from those University days, and I felt until she could properly filter out her heart, spirit and emotional angst, she was going to find it difficult to truly move forward.

My Review of The Ten Year Reunion:

Dani’s life prior to college was a succession of expectations from her parents, a winding road of choices she never made herself and a future that was quite literally picked out for her to accept as her own. The problem is that Dani had an independent spirit inside her growing in determined passion with enough grit to stand-up to her parents once and for all – right at the end of her senior year! This newly emboldened spark of her personality she had not known previously, led her out of New York and straight into North Carolina where she found herself able to tuck into the University culture of a school that never felt like she were a stranger but a welcomed acquaintance; someone everyone would eventually be keen to know as a friend. She craved finding her wings to explore her own path of destiny – not to simply continue to live in the shadow of her father, whose tilt of pedestal on behalf of his daughter’s promise to succeed was buckling under a will to break-free.

Her college mate Addie breezes back into her life like a whirlwind of energy, promise of tomorrow and a spontaneous knack for unsettling Dani with her effervescent personality where joy follows her in spades. Not too soon after landing at her doorstep, Addie convinces Dani not only that they are pre-booked to attend their college reunion but she’s met two amazing blokes whose taking them out to a ball game; the Sox are on their home turf, and Dani has yet to see them in action. A shocking surprise to Addie, being how close her friend chose to live near the stadium (Fenway). What isn’t surprising is the twinges of the past affecting Dani’s overall mood and why even though Addie is a welcome sight, part of Dani isn’t quite as keen for all the re-connections. Her personality is better suited to keeping a firm hand on a locked door rather than bracing herself to open it and finding she’s unprepared for what she’ll find within.

Must admit, the rooftop garden Dani is taken too by Ethan (yes, one of the random blokes her silly Addie set her up to meet at that fateful ballgame!) is a dream – to be under the stars and on a blanket of greenery at the same time? Now that’s a proper slice of heaven! I loved how the scene was crafted and put together, such serendipity and an honesty of intention on Ethan’s behalf to show something to Dani! I oft wondered why rooftop green spaces haven’t become more in vogue and populated themselves right round the globe! Such a clever and mindful way of being more environmentally conscience whilst combining a lovely place to knit together friendship, community and conversation!

Part One of The Ten Year Reunion is setting up the ambiance after University and where we find an older Dani trying to reconcile her past – as we bridge into Part Two we’re back at the latter half of her freshman year, seeking information from her first-hand about what went wrong to such a degree of alarming unrest. So much of who Dani is in the present is fused to whom she was in the past – I could well see why Krupa wanted to slip time backwards and have Dani herself reveal to us what was going on in her own mind as the moments unfolded before her for the first time.

Dani, Sarah, Addie, Callie, Vinny (Callie’s boyfriend) and Jake all met quite by random accident when a get together in Dani’s dorm room suddenly amassed to being a full-on party where there were more bodies dancing than the tight room would allow to be comfortable! Despite the fact they could each hold a heap more alcohol than you would believe possible, they turnt into fast mates! Dani even offered to let Sarah become her new roomie, as she was without a place to stay on campus permanently. All of this was kicked off by Addie who found Dani holed up in the library on a Friday night – a shameful discovery Addie felt as who takes their studies that seriously? It was a concept Addie could not process and she sort of made it her mission to ‘liven up’ Dani’s lifestyle choices. They were quite the motley crew – partying as hard as they could, studying when their headaches were subsiding and trying to sort out who they wanted to be in the long term.

I did not readily warm to Jake, in fact if anything I found him dearly immature and caught up in a lifestyle he chose to keep at school whilst forsaking other people’s feelings; especially in moments were his teammates were acting quite badly. Jake did not feel to me like someone who wanted to mature (at least not in his younger years) but if you contrasted him against Ethan, you had to wonder why Dani was ever attracted to Jake. Ethan seemed to have more on the ball and definitely knew more about what he wanted out of life, whilst being grounded at the same time. I had a feeling part of why Dani never felt good enough around men was her home life and the issues she had with her father; of whom never fully accepted her choices since she went against his advice.

I think this is the first time where I had trouble with the ending of a story – I felt like Krupa was leading me to go in a different direction, but then took me down a different avenue entirely. I cannot say I agree with the choice as honestly it’s simply not how I thought it would end up, but for the thread of direction she chose she did allow her characters to draw up their own minds and resolve to the best of their abilities the issues they had faced ten years prior. There is something to be said for that, as closure is one obstacle that many never can find and if these friends could put the past behind them and try to knit together a future without all the anguish and devastation of their college years – all the more power to them.

Small fly in the ointment:

I felt Part Two was a bit overly extended from where it should have ended, which did not give Part Three too much room to play with in order to tie everything together at the end. Part of me questioned why the pacing felt a bit slower in the middle section, too. I think it’s because there was a strong focus on the ‘everyday’ vibe of attending college – and in this particular case, the excessive drinking and party life that can disrupt any student’s ability to focus or function. Not being a party girl, some of this rub me the wrong way as it was truly focused on to a high extent.

There were some strong moments in Part Two, I truly felt were good to highlight, but I don’t want to spoilt what those were as they were key moments of what became part of the arc for Dani and her friends to overcome in their individual journeys. The whole time I grew to dislike Jake even more, to such a degree I honestly wasn’t sure why he was still in Dani’s life as he’s just not the type of bloke you’d ever fully trust or want to have in your pocket. He simply irked me, to be honest. Not the leading man type at all but more like the player who hasn’t the wit to realise when to grow up.

As I have an ARC copy of the novel, I am unsure if the finished copy resolved some of these issues or not, as I will have to yield to others who might have the finalised version. One thing I thought might have helped resolve some of this is if Part Two wasn’t a time slip but rather a portioned flashback sequence which interrelated to Part One and Part Three – almost as if it’s a time shift in perspective and reverie but not a full slippage back into another particular time in Dani’s life.

For me, most of Part Two is why I struggle with New Adult Fiction – it’s not a genre I warm too and this section made me re-classify The Ten Year Reunion as New Adult rather than strictly Women’s Fiction.

Why I continue to appreciate the stories Ms Krupa is writing:

I think part of the appeal with the style of Krupa’s story-telling spirit for me is the fact we’re both East Coast girls – she writes about North Carolina (in particular) and this is a part of the country I can personally relate too, as I grew up in the same general region. There is a familiarity if you will about society and how life is lived, but also, recognition of certain ways of thinking, etc. Even when this story (The Ten Year Reunion) shifts to Boston for a spell, I found the backdrop recognisable because Boston is on my short-list of favourite cities; esp one I have visited!

When it comes to cross-comparing my readings of Contemporary Rom and/or Women’s Fiction, the only separation I’ve lamented about during my weekly Rom chat @ChocLitSaturday* (#ChocLitSaturday) is how I find Women’s Fiction deals with the fuller spectrum of a women’s life affecting harder topics of introspective interest as well as a threading of how a woman’s life can be redeemed and/or changed through circumstance, tragedy or a life shift moment where she chooses how best to proceed for her own life. Contemporary Rom for me focuses more on the relationship – the early bits straight through to the wedding – where couples are testing the waters to see if they are meant for each other, but also, how they fit inside each others life as well. For me, the level of focus is different but both are equally warranted to be highlighted; this isn’t to mean both genres cannot bleed into each other with cross-focus appeal or dip inside elements that are reminiscent of both styles; but for me, I was simply trying to mention how I see both styles differently.

On this vein of thought, Krupa never shies away from her characters having to dig deeper and overcome a moment in their lives where they are not even sure if they have strength, faith nor will to move past something that unsettled them. Their spirits are a bit dampered down by life’s tides and the methods they seek to re-set the balance are individually unique. This is what keeps me rooting for Krupa’s stories and why I have a personal appreciation for how she’s tackling Contemporary Fiction as a whole. Even if I cannot say The Ten Year Reunion was my favourite of her three novels, I do like how she continues to write the truth she feels is warranted to be told in her stories.

NOTE: @ChocLitSaturday was re-named @SatBookChat and has continued to host chats based on the foundational years of @ChocLitSaturday wherein Romance & Women’s Fiction stories as well as Feminist Lit are happily celebrated on Saturdays

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Extra Special Surprise in the Acknowledgements Section
in the back of “The Ten Year Reunion”:

I am listed as “Jorie Loves A Story” in this section as being one of the bloggers who has been supporting Ms Krupa’s writerly career throughout each new release of hers; an honoured group of book bloggers to be amongst as to be given such a decree of sincere gratitude by the author whose touched our hearts with the stories she’s given us such joy in reading!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This book review is courtesy of the author T.S. Krupa

The Ten Year Reunion Quote badge provided by T.S. Krupa and used with permission.

Be sure to return on Wednesday, the 25th of May to read my ruminations about “On the Edge” Ms Krupa’s sophomore release and the story which I did not get to finish last May!

{ follow the convo on Twitter: #TheTenYearReunion }

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

You might be curious to know
what is forthcoming from Ms Krupa!?

I was quite taken by the fact she’s writing a novella series, the first title of which has already been released with more installments to be coming soon after. Although, I cannot read this novella as it’s not available in a print edition, I did want to highlight it for those of my readers here at Jorie Loves A Story who love their e-readers and might want to ‘try Krupa’s writing’ to see if her stories would be a good fit for them as much as they are for me! In some ways, I am thinking this is why she’s started to release e-novellas; to help readers find her style & the stories she’s passionate about telling.

Big City Dreams: Finding Logan Hunter novella by T.S. Krupa

Logan runs away from her current life in West Texas to start over in New York City. She quickly realizes that life in the big city is significantly different from the comforts of the ranch she left behind. But, as a girl who’s always looking for an adventure, that doesn’t stop Logan from accomplishing what she set out to do. With the help of her new friend Mac, Logan is ready to take on the city in a way she never thought possible. Using Mac’s extensive network. she is thrust into New York’s social elite where she makes an unexpected connection.

Finding Logan Hunter is a story about a girl on a journey to discover herself and the lasting impressions that she makes on those around her.

This novella is currently only available in ebook format. I do hope perhaps after the series is released, an omnibus edition in print might be forthcoming.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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.@TS_Krupa writes #NewAdult w/ compassionate eye on self-growth & redemption! Read more Click To Tweet

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Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

{SOURCES: Author photograph of T.S. Krupa, author biography, book cover art for “Safe and Sound”, “The Ten Year Reunion” and “Big City Dreams” as well as the “The Ten Year Reunion” & “Big City Dreams” book synopsis and The Ten Year Reunion Quote badge were provided by the author T.S. Krupa and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Addictions and Afflictions, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Found me On Twitter, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Boston, College & University Years, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Romance Fiction, School Life & Situations, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Sports, Time Slip, Vulgarity in Literature, Weight Loss

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