Publisher: Carina Press
Format: Kindle ARC
Reviewed by: Judith
Genre: NA Contemporary
Plot: Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.
She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.
But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.
When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her–and Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.
Review: I gotta get this off my chest. What is with all the drama in New Adult novels?! I’m at the end of my rope here. A little is tasteful and pushes a story. Too much and the reader thinks you’re not confident enough in your idea for it to be good in its own right. In the immortal words of Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas: No. No no drama. No no no no drama.
Gah! I just can’t anymore. There’s no way that so many heroes and heroines are this messed up. It just isn’t possible. Tell Me When would have been great except you know what? [CAUTION: SPOILER ALERT. NO REALLY, I’M ABOUT TO GIVE AWAY A LOT OF SECRETS] I couldn’t get past the fact that the heroine, Amber, has a laundry list of crap in her life: she’s the victim of rape, kidnap, and abuse; is covered in nasty scars because of her ordeal; has a brother and a boyfriend murdered; and is estranged from her mother (and her father might also be dead but I honestly can’t remember. He’s just not in the picture suffice it to say). And to top it off, she begins dating this perfect guy, Marcus, who is actually a commitment-phobic serial dater who sleeps with anything on two legs, is equally estranged from his parents and also has a murdered brother. To round out the crazy, there’s a manipulative and sex-starved ex girlfriend in the picture, a bitchy roommate who also gets beat up and raped but is such an unsympathetic character all the way through you honestly don’t feel anything about her suffering, gangs are making a move in the neighborhood, and a stalker is on the loose. I’m sorry, maybe I’m biased or something (biased in favor of happiness obviously) but honestly, so many unnecessary plot twists were thrown in here that it was unbelievable. There is no way so many bad things could happen to one person. Is she a magnet for awful? Does she draw pain and suffering to herself through no fault of her own? If so,
Amber girl, it’s time for an exorcism!
Now, don’t get me wrong. This book isn’t bad. It just didn’t do it for me. I will say that Stina Lindenblatt makes a good effort in this debut. There is a nice juxtaposition of voices in that we get to hear from both Marcus and Amber’s point of view and she has a good writing style that flows smoothly. I just couldn’t get past what felt like melo-dramatic plot devices meant to tug on the heart-strings of the reader and push along a weak plot.
In the end, I’m giving this 5/10.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 5. Amber has a lot on her plate but instead of getting intensive therapy and counseling, she just goes to college. There she tries to struggle through night terrors and difficult courses but just isn’t quite up to it. I’m not a big fan of people who don’t realize there’s a problem and get help. Also, Amber likes to run away from things without talking it out. Another big no no cause how is anything ever going to get fixed?
How much did I like the love interest: 5. Marcus is supposed to be a hot, sexy smarty-pants who also likes to fight thugs and avenge his friends and family. He came off as a weird mix of hero and nerd with a touch of porn star. I didn’t find him to be a particularly likable hero. He just sort of…was and his romance with Amber felt a bit forced.
How believable is the plot: 3. Please see above. No. No no drama. No no no no drama.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 7. Stina is a good writer. Her pacing is great, there’s a nice flow to her story, and I liked the back and forth of the POVs between the characters. But all the dramatic elements in the plot made it seem like she didn’t 100% believe in the story she was telling.
How much did I want to keep reading: 5. I wasn’t particularly invested in this story mainly cause I found it unbelievable and overly dramatic. If some of that had been stripped away, it would have been much more engrossing.
Final Score: 5/10.
****Disclaimer: I got this book for free from the author. I swear I didn’t bribe her in any way, or get paid for my review. And we might not be legit enough to need this disclaimer but after working at a law firm for many years it’s better safe than sorry!****