Review: The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes

Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website
College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.

To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.

Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?

Filled with friendship, romance, bromance, and gorgeous faraway settings, The Key to Everything is a story for anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expected it.

I can't stop smiling...the ending was way too cute and perfect for words! 

Paula Stokes's THE KEY TO EVERYTHING is romantic, adventurous, and insightful. 

I loved a lot about THE KEY TO EVERYTHING; however, I have to say the characters were by far my favorite part! THEY KEY TO EVERYTHING is classified as New Adult so Oakland and Morgan are college aged - second semester seniors to be exact. It was so much fun to read about characters who are around my age and going through similar things to what I just went through - graduating college, deciding what comes next, really just overthinking anything and  everything. 

Oakland is the more sensible out of the two. She's a planner and a rule-follower. She doesn't trust or open up easily, and I could easily relate, as I've always been that type of friend. At first, I was slightly worried that her indecision over the two boys would annoy me; however, that didn't happen. 

Instead, I felt that this journey was the last stepping stone in her growing up, and I enjoyed watching that occur. She's questioning the past while looking towards the future, and I feel like that's the natural progression of things. Her romance with Tyson was sparkly, new, and sexy while her memories of Scott were safe and sweet - the last remainder of childhood innocence in some respect. I could easily see the appeal of both boys as well as understand her conflict in choosing. Additionally, they both brought out the good in Oakland. 

Tyson, however, was without a doubt my favorite. He's adventurous, fearless, and risk-taking, and he brought those traits out in Oakland. I loved seeing Oakland open up, taking jumps and leaps. I especially loved that he wasn't a "rusher." He always wanted Oakland to feel safe and in control, and while at times I think she pushed his understanding a little too far, I thought it was sweet that he was always so willing to be there for her, no matter the outcome. Maybe a little too perfect, but I still liked him nonetheless. 

I also liked the side characters. Morgan was such a riot. I thought it was awesome that she always spoke her mind and didn't take anyone's garbage. I also loved seeing the dynamic between Morgan and Oakland. They banter always kept me giggling, and I especially loved how Morgan got Oakland into such crazy situations at times. It reminded me of my own best friend and me. Morgan's love interest was also adorable. I need a book about those two next! 

The setting was another fantastic part. I knew a fair amount about Thailand before starting this; however, it was fun to see the country and its culture through Oakland's eyes. It was interesting to see the different customs and traditions as well as how they celebrated Christmas. Additionally, Paula's descriptions added a drool-worthy factor. She beautifully painted the scene, so much so in fact that I now want to go to Thailand. 

In all, THEY KEY TO EVERYTHING is yet another rich addition to the New Adult genre. Paula Stokes's perfectly captures what it feels like to be at that pivotal point between college and real life, showing the fear, confusion, and more importantly, hope that comes with. It's a book about taking chances, falling in love, and embracing the unknown, no matter how scary it may be. This may be my first book by Paula, but it certainly won't be my last.

5 stars!! 

The Key to Everything is now out!

*Special Note: It's currently free through kindle unlimited.* 

Source: eARC provided by author - thanks Paula! 

Buy Links: 

Author Links: 

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  1. Last year I read only one new adult, I feel like in 2018 I'm going to read more different genres. I just need too! & this sounds like a fun and cute story. Something that I def. will enjoy reading. Great review.

  2. Glad to see some great new titles for the NA genre! Even though I'm a few (several) years out of college, it's still fun to read about it!

  3. I didn't realize this book was set in Thailand. I've been meaning to read Stokes for forever, and this book sounds fantastic!

    FYI: I’m visiting via the Commenting 365 Challenge. It’s nice to meet you!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. I first heard about this one yesterday and both reviews rated this one high, thats a good sign.

  5. Wow, awesome review. I need to check this out. Sounds amazing. Thanks for putting it out on my radar, Lauren. 😁❤️👍🏻

  6. I have only read one book written by this author. It sounds like I should probably give her work another try.


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