November 23, 2013 | by Three Girls And A Book Obsession |


Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating.  She’s a little girl lost-abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future.  She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere.  She’s eighteen.  She wants to be older.  And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home-to be her protector.  But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily.  He knows he must share his secret with Cadence.  And he hopes his revelation won’t tear them apart.  He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better.

I’m sitting here just baffled as to how I can do this book the justice it so needs.  I am a HUGE S. Walden fan, she does not write your typical cookie-cutter, cute, sweet love stories.  No, she takes darker themes and pushes the envelope a bit and I just love it.  I know that the central relationship in this story may bother some people (there is a 10 year age difference and Mark was her teacher in high school) but somehow Mark and Cadence work, he is the yin to her yang.

“Better” starts where “Good” leaves off but there are also some past scenes in Mark’s POV.  Cadence is now living with Mark after she is disowned by her parents.  Right from the get-go she gets a crash life course into becoming an adult.  There are now bills, having to clean up after herself, making grown-up decisions, etc.  Mark has lost his job as a high school teacher but is now a teacher at the local college.  Mark is also putting off his goal of getting his Doctorate and paying for Cadence to attend college instead.  When Mark promised her that she would take care of her, he really wasn’t kidding.

While Cadence is attending college it becomes evident that she has not had the time to mature and live on her own, she went from her parent’s house directly to Mark’s.  Throughout her childhood, she was very sheltered so when she goes to college it’s only natural that she wants to have the normal college experience.  I actually felt bad for her, she wanted to be a normal college student, not the girl who ended up dating her high school teacher.  I think part of her rebelling also has to do with the loss of her parents.

You know throughout the book that Mark is keeping something from Cadence and that this secret is actually hurting him as well.  The secret is a pretty big one and when it comes out…WOW, I was not expecting that.  The result is Cadence completely shutting Mark out and to a point, spiraling out of control.  During this time, you realize that Mark has the patience of a saint to endure the ugliness that is Cadence.  When it finally comes to a head, there is something that happens that will either make sense to the reader or just having asking themselves, WTF?!  That my folks is why I absolutely I’m freaking obsessed with S. Walden.  P.S. I totally get why that scene happened and totally agree with it all the way!!

I will sum up my love for this book by saying that this the perfect follow-up to “Good”, it actually may be better (no pun intended).  I love that the book made me want to scream at Cadence and tell her to grow the f*ck up and let her know she is one lucky biatch to get to call Mark her boyfriend.  I wanted to commend Mark in allowing Cadence the space she needed to get the footing she needed and just for being so damn delish!

Lastly…I think there is a spin-off book needed, but I won’t spoil anything for the readers.  Hint, hint!

“You were meant to heal my heart last year when I was lonely and lost.  I think maybe I’m meant to heal yours too.”

Alexis kept telling me that I need to pick up an S. Walden book. Seriously…Stacia got in on the pestering as well. I finally gave in on Sunday with Good and I finished Better on Monday nigh, clearly I got 100% addicted!!! I agree 1,000% with everything Alexis said in her review, Better was a great addition to Good. I loved the continuation of the story and really wanted to punch both of them in the face numerous times. I absolutely loved Good & Better. S. Walden is one of my new favorite authors!! Yes, Alexis…I totally see (crossing my fingers) a spin off! Now off to read Going Under!!

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Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him–a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.

S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about it.

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