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

The Key to Everything Details

TitleThe Key to Everything
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 9th, 2018
PublisherPaula Stokes
Rating
GenreContemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult

The Key to Everything Review

  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsA great story with a vibrant setting, excellent banter in nearly every conversation, and an MC I could really root for. Full review to come.
  • Sara (sarabara081)
    January 1, 1970
    Paula Stokes wrote a New Adult novel, y’all! I’ve been reading her YA books for years and she has grown to be a favorite author of mine so when I heard something a little spicier with college age characters was on the horizon I jumped at the chance to read it.I found the writing to be very comparable to her YA works. The author is excellent at creating these characters that are quite flawed but very likable. Characters you can’t help but to root for and that’s exactly the type of character Oakla Paula Stokes wrote a New Adult novel, y’all! I’ve been reading her YA books for years and she has grown to be a favorite author of mine so when I heard something a little spicier with college age characters was on the horizon I jumped at the chance to read it.I found the writing to be very comparable to her YA works. The author is excellent at creating these characters that are quite flawed but very likable. Characters you can’t help but to root for and that’s exactly the type of character Oakland is. After a few lackluster relationships throughout college, she becomes obsessed with the idea of ‘The One’ and feeling like she already had her chance at true love in high school and gave it up before leaving for college, an idea only made worse when a fortune teller encourages the thoughts in her mind by declaring him the ‘key to everything’. She tries relentlessly to find her old boyfriend Seth but strikes out at every turn. In an effort to distract her from the obsession, her best friend Morgan offers up a trip to Thailand for the Holidays. Once again Stokes magically transports her readers to such vivid and detailed settings. So rich in detail that I found myself wishing I was right there with the characters during all of their excursions. It was on this trip that Oakland meets Tyson, an American soldier on vacation with his friend Jed. Morgan and Jed hit it off instantly, leaving Oakland and Tyson to their own devices. But Oakland is quite standoffish, her mind fixed on the idea that Seth is her destiny and closed to the thought of anything else. Their romantic interactions were quite casual, almost awkwardly so in the beginning. Admittedly, I didn’t really feel the connection either at that point, well besides all the very spicy and hot sex they were having. But things slowly start to change as Oakland gets to know Tyson. I think my feelings evolved at the same pace as Oakland’s and I really appreciated how honest it all felt. Tyson was such an understanding and sweet man, and oh so patient. Even when fate has a funny way of messing with Oakland and Seth shows up in Thailand too…Despite Oakland’s often misguided actions, she was still a character I easily connected with and I grew to love the romance hanging in the air of Thailand. I am so very happy the author decided to try out New Adult and hope she writes more in the future. Definitely check this one out!
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  • alice (arctic books)
    January 1, 1970
    3-3.5 stars. Full review to come!
  • Meigan
    January 1, 1970
    I always forget how much I love romance books, especially when they’re new adult. New adult, for me, offers what adult and YA romances don’t - heaps of angst on top of heaps of uncertainty, and that’s exactly what The Key to Everything delivered, along with a hefty side of frustration. Oakland has some strange notion in her head that finding her old boyfriend Seth will provide her the happiness that seems to be missing, and give her the perfect future she’s been dreaming of. Of course it doesn’t I always forget how much I love romance books, especially when they’re new adult. New adult, for me, offers what adult and YA romances don’t - heaps of angst on top of heaps of uncertainty, and that’s exactly what The Key to Everything delivered, along with a hefty side of frustration. Oakland has some strange notion in her head that finding her old boyfriend Seth will provide her the happiness that seems to be missing, and give her the perfect future she’s been dreaming of. Of course it doesn’t help that a psychic seemed to hint at *someone* in her future that can deliver that, and Oakland is convinced it’s Seth. She and her best friend take an impromptu trip to Thailand as a sort of break from everything, and of course that worrisome little psychic reading comes into play when Oakland learns that Seth, too, is in the country. What’s supposed to be a relaxing trip turns into wild-goose chase with Oakland tracking Seth down for something that may not even hold any water. Problem is, she also met a guy on the trip and he’s pretty much the best guy Oakland’s ever met. But vacation romances aren’t really *real*, are they?As I said before, The Key to Everything delivered everything I expect from NA romances, but it also delivered a healthy serving of frustration. Frustration on behalf of Oakland and her silly (to me) quest to once again find Seth and true love, and ignoring what’s right in front of her face. Although I did like the angst that both Oakland and Tyson felt when it came to their relationship, although I found the idea that vacation relationships not being “real” to be kind of odd. Especially considering that Oakland is a graduate student in the field of psychology, surely she’d be able to tell the the difference between real and unreal ;-) All told, The Key to Everything was a fast-paced and fun romance read, and there was a happy ending after Oakland sorted through all the baggage concerning her notions of what the future is supposed to be. It also had more than its fair share of steam and sexy times, which I always appreciate. I definitely recommend this for anyone who likes romances, particularly of the angsty variety. *Many thanks to Paula Stokes for providing a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Lauren R.
    January 1, 1970
    That was a really solid New Adult! These are hard for me because I’m soooo picky and have very little tolerance for drama and angst. I’m happy to say those were fairly minimal. I liked that there wasn’t a lot of lying and jerking around. Oakland definitely got on my nerves a lot and turned into a bit of a crazy stalker at times. However, the story itself was sweet and I LOVED the setting of travel in Thailand.
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  • sass quatch
    January 1, 1970
    sounds to me like...
  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsHot ship and the travel element is fabulous.
  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    I realized reading this book I am much pickier in my taste in travel companions than main characters. Oakland follows Paula Stokes' tradition of character who aren't perfect (aka she's real and human... which means annoying like a regular human sometimes). Apparently I'm really picky about travel companions, because I wouldn't want to travel with Oakland, and since as readers we are basically traveling with her, for the first part I was being all snobby in my head. BUT BUT. Once you see her thro I realized reading this book I am much pickier in my taste in travel companions than main characters. Oakland follows Paula Stokes' tradition of character who aren't perfect (aka she's real and human... which means annoying like a regular human sometimes). Apparently I'm really picky about travel companions, because I wouldn't want to travel with Oakland, and since as readers we are basically traveling with her, for the first part I was being all snobby in my head. BUT BUT. Once you see her through the eyes of her love interest, you absolutely see all the great things in her that he sees. It's like this amazing flipping of the switch. Not in a bad way at all, you are just presented with her characterization through his framework now and you are like oh! You're right she is all those things! I agree! (though I still would not travel with her)The romance is good and if you like Paula Stokes or NA or both you will enjoy this one. The parents aren't there but have super unique jobs. That could be its own book!
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  • Danielle Hammelef
    January 1, 1970
    The author provided me a Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review. I struggled with the first few chapters because I wasn't connecting with the POV character or her friend because I didn't feel as if I got to know more than a superficial glimpse. But as the story progressed, I finally got to know more about the real person of the POV character and started to care about her and her friends. I have to admit that the sexual content of this book was part that I thought was not right for this cha The author provided me a Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review. I struggled with the first few chapters because I wasn't connecting with the POV character or her friend because I didn't feel as if I got to know more than a superficial glimpse. But as the story progressed, I finally got to know more about the real person of the POV character and started to care about her and her friends. I have to admit that the sexual content of this book was part that I thought was not right for this character, but this author knows how to write the steamy scenes. I now have a new book boyfriend and thoroughly enjoyed the tenderness, friendship, hopefulness, and forgiveness I read in this book. Overall, this book will whisk you away to Thailand where you'll find a story of friendship, figuring out what you really want in life, and realizing every decision has consequences.
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  • Kelly Tse
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I normally don’t read NA (New Adult), but I read Paula Stokes, so naturally, I was excited to read her NA debut! The Key to Everything brings us to Thailand, where our MC (and her best friend) are on vacation. This was a fun, relaxing romantic adventure to follow along with. One of my biggest gripes with books is romance (sometimes necessary, sometimes unnecessary, sometimes completely inorganic and unrealistic, etc.) but I didn’t have a problem with this one!Note: This e-ARC was pr Disclaimer: I normally don’t read NA (New Adult), but I read Paula Stokes, so naturally, I was excited to read her NA debut! The Key to Everything brings us to Thailand, where our MC (and her best friend) are on vacation. This was a fun, relaxing romantic adventure to follow along with. One of my biggest gripes with books is romance (sometimes necessary, sometimes unnecessary, sometimes completely inorganic and unrealistic, etc.) but I didn’t have a problem with this one!Note: This e-ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. But thank you Paula!!!
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  • Cassie
    January 1, 1970
    I found it hard to relate to any of the characters in this book, especially Oakland. I felt the book was lacking character development for Tyson, and a character arch for Oakland. However, I was drawn in enough to want to keep reading through to the end. I was really looking forward to this book, but was left a little disappointed.
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  • Eileen (BookCatPin)
    January 1, 1970
    I love me some romance and adventure so of course I couldn't say no to a story that has both. While I did have some issues with the characters The Key to Everything was an adventure with beautiful sceneries and sexy bits.First and foremost I love the details to Oakland and Morgan's trip. This is the one part of a book where you can tell the author has done her research well. The sights and terrains held such careful and definitive details I can see them in my mind and picture them in real life. I love me some romance and adventure so of course I couldn't say no to a story that has both. While I did have some issues with the characters The Key to Everything was an adventure with beautiful sceneries and sexy bits.First and foremost I love the details to Oakland and Morgan's trip. This is the one part of a book where you can tell the author has done her research well. The sights and terrains held such careful and definitive details I can see them in my mind and picture them in real life. The beautiful descriptions does make one yearn to visit Thailand.The pacing in The Key to Everything was on the slow side. Although I loved travelling through the foreign country and learning of the traditions I also found at times I was impatient and just wanted the main story to go on. Part of the frustration might have been due to all the missed encounters between Oakland and Seth. I'm not a fan of such trope and while that's completely a personal preference it did affect my enjoyment of the story a little. Especially given some of Oakland's actions (more in the next paragraph).In regards to the characters, I found I couldn't connect to them as much as I wanted to. I tried really hard to like Oakland but she was too much of a flimsy character for me. I didn't like her hesitancies and hated her poor decisions even more. But I also appreciated her honesty to her friends and love interests. She stuck to her beliefs and saw things through.In the end while I couldn't relate to the main character and fully get on board with her way of thinking The Key to Everything was still a fun travel and love story I'm sure many people will enjoy.
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  • Philip Siegel
    January 1, 1970
    This book made me want to travel abroad again. It's a perfect blend of romance and travelogue. I loved it!
  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Everything about this book was fun. I flew through it and enjoyed every minute. Oakland, Tyson, Morgan, and Jed have great friendships and relationships. The angst is realistic, even if some of the storylines are not. If you love travel and romance, I would highly recommend reading this book. It could even be a good holiday read! Even though it’s not explicitly focused on the holidays, it occurs over Christmas, so any excuse right? I could see Hallmark turning this into a great Christmas movie f Everything about this book was fun. I flew through it and enjoyed every minute. Oakland, Tyson, Morgan, and Jed have great friendships and relationships. The angst is realistic, even if some of the storylines are not. If you love travel and romance, I would highly recommend reading this book. It could even be a good holiday read! Even though it’s not explicitly focused on the holidays, it occurs over Christmas, so any excuse right? I could see Hallmark turning this into a great Christmas movie for sure! I can’t wait to check out more of Stokes’ books.For full review, check out my blog http://booksbeautyandbuys.com
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  • Serena
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all I can't wait until you can read this one because it is so good.
  • Adriana De Persia
    January 1, 1970
    Fun Fact. A few weeks before reading this book, I was watching a Thai Drama. So, I could appreciate Thai references better. I will read anything and everything from Paula Stokes. I think she deserves more hype than what she gets. Plus, she works crazy hard. If you’re into New Adult, this is totally for you. Paula totally delivers the New Adult struggles and plot. A glimpse of the main 2 characters: Oakland: She holds on to what she thinks it’s best and goes after it. She is driven and committed. Fun Fact. A few weeks before reading this book, I was watching a Thai Drama. So, I could appreciate Thai references better. I will read anything and everything from Paula Stokes. I think she deserves more hype than what she gets. Plus, she works crazy hard. If you’re into New Adult, this is totally for you. Paula totally delivers the New Adult struggles and plot. A glimpse of the main 2 characters: Oakland: She holds on to what she thinks it’s best and goes after it. She is driven and committed. Quite stubborn too. Tyson: Sure of himself, doesn’t break easily, trustworthy and loyal. Having said that, I decided to read this book, but I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy it. It’s not about Paula and her writing, it’s this genre. Personally, I dislike New Adult. I think it’s boring, hard to follow, and honestly, just ‘meh.’ The plotlines are not really my areas of interest. But as I said before. If you like New Adult, this is for you. Expect flawed and complicated characters. Paula is great in writing them. If you haven’t read her YA books, what are you waiting for? 😉
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    First self-published and new adult book by Paula Stokes. She made a name for herself by writing numerous young adult novels. And this book definitely made me curious.This book did give me a slow start though. It took me awhile to actually get comfy with the book. I know I'm not exactly a fast reader but it's rare for me to finish a book that took so long.The book definitely hit us off with the main character, Oakland, and her best friend, Morgan. Both so different yet very similar. I love that w First self-published and new adult book by Paula Stokes. She made a name for herself by writing numerous young adult novels. And this book definitely made me curious.This book did give me a slow start though. It took me awhile to actually get comfy with the book. I know I'm not exactly a fast reader but it's rare for me to finish a book that took so long.The book definitely hit us off with the main character, Oakland, and her best friend, Morgan. Both so different yet very similar. I love that we got to characterize them from the get go. Oakland's personality will definitely be useful in the whole story, and i love how she was written.I love that this is in a foreign country. I find it quite rare for main characters to be foreigners. I love that we discover Thailand with Oakland. Everything she sees is new to her eyes which makes it new to readers too, especially if you don't know the country either. But is Thailand an integral part of the story? I don't think so. The lessons embedded in the story doesn't involve Thailand much. Because I think it was the turn of events, situations, and the problem(s) that made Oakland grow as a person.I do like how the story flowed though. I like the middle, the climax, and the denouement. There are parts that I just didn't see coming. So I have to applaud the author for that.The book has so much to offer. Romance, friendship, self-growth, and even the future was very well written in this story.Overall, an okay read for me. Very well thought out book. But not so life changing for me as a reader.
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