Almost by Anne Eliot

Hi all! Judith here. Remember yesterday when I mentioned that we had a fabulous guest blogger named Richelle and that she would be doing an equally fabulous review of Almost by Anne Eliot? Well…here it is! Thanks to Richelle for stepping up and helping out, we appreciate it.

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Almost by Anne Eliot

Publisher: Butterfly Books

Format: Kindle Edition

When Judith put out a desperate call for help from a guest blogger (at least that’s how I heard it), I jumped at the opportunity. I hope my review of a great book will be read by millions and millions of people all across the world! Oh, sorry, I’m getting a bit carried away. Anyhoo, I heard about this book from my friend who reads a book a day (seriously, who does that?!) and thought it would be the perfect book to read and review for the blog! Thank you, Judith, for giving me this great job.

Plot:
3 years ago, Jess Jordan decided to sneak out of her house. This turned out to be a horrible mistake. She went to a party where a senior almost raped her. She developed PTSD after this incident and doesn’t remember anything from that night. Nothing has really helped her recover, even seeing a counselor on a regular basis. If Jess sleeps very long when it’s dark out, she has terrible nightmares and sometimes even screams out loud.

As the time goes by, she seems to be getting better, as long as she takes naps during the day and drinks several Red Bulls to keep her awake. Her parents have promised her that if she keeps improving, they will let her go to college after she graduates. To continue to show her parents her improvement, she tries to get a summer internship. At the final interview, she meets Gray Porter, and can’t take her eyes off of him! He’s so dreamy! Then an idea hits her! Ask Gray to be her “contract” boyfriend for the summer. What better way is there to prove that you are normal besides having a gorgeous boyfriend?

What Jess doesn’t know is that Gray was there 3 years ago when she was almost raped and he saved her. Gray has been trying to find a way to let her know what happened, even though everyone, including Jess’s parents, have been hiding the truth from her. So, Gray decides that this is his only opportunity to let her know what really happened and make it up to her. The only problem is, they are falling in love.

Review:
You would have to be heartless not to like this book, and I am the total opposite of heartless (I’m not sure if I cried more at The Notebook or Wall-E!). I was interested immediately in the story, especially when the first line is “The third Red Bull was a mistake”. Anyone who drinks that many Red Bulls by lunch has to be interesting!

Throughout the whole book, you experience how Jess and Gray are feeling and continuously growing closer. I kept comparing this book to one of those movies where you want to yell at the screen “just say what you are thinking!”, but then you realize

that if they did that, the movie would be over and I definitely did NOT want this book to be over, so I kept my mouth shut!

What a great story for girls of all ages to read. It was a serious topic and every woman has at one time or another thought about this happening to herself or someone she knows. There is even a list of resources for women that have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

Aside from the serious issues in the story, there is a beautiful love story. It is exactly how 2 teenagers would act if they were falling in love, especially if they had the pasts that Jess and Gray have. It makes me want to be a teenager all over again (a little bit).

Based on the following criteria:

How much did I like the heroine: 9. Jess was obviously having a hard time getting back to her normal life. And who wouldn’t after what she had been through? But I kept thinking, would someone who is having these problems really approach a guy this gorgeous and ask him to do this? I’m not really sure. But, I felt her pain and I won’t give her anything less than a 9!

How much did I like the love interest: 10. I’m pretty sure Gray was actually Superman’s brother! He saves Jess from an attack, he has black hair with a curl that falls down onto his forehead, his eyes are beautiful (excuse me, let me wipe the drool from my mouth). He gave up his spot on the ice hockey team because of what happened to Jess. This guy really puts everyone ahead of himself. I just wanted to keep reading to hear Jess explain more about Gray and to just hear Gray talk!

How believable is the plot: 9. There is no question that what happened to Jess (and Gray) was believable. Though the behavior of the other characters is still a bit unsettling. For instance, for such protective parents as Jess has, it’s hard to believe they aren’t more involved with her summer boyfriend. I mean, they didn’t even meet the guy! I feel like if this had happened to my daughter, I would HAVE to meet a boy that she was going out with. What is most believable is the feelings that are forming between Jess and Gray, what great writing!

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Anne Eliot wrote using both Jess’s and Gray’s point of view. What a difference that makes to a story! If I was only reading one side of the story, I definitely would not have enjoyed this as much. To see and hear how they feel about each other just makes you feel all bubbly inside at times and makes you want to cry at times.

How much did I want to keep reading:
10. I could not put this book down! I had to make myself stop reading as my eyes were drying out at 1 am a few nights in a row. I also had to keep reminding myself that there is a 2 year-old girl (yes, my spawn) living in my house that was probably going to wake me up in 6 hours!

Final Score: 9/10

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Yoohoo, it’s Judith again. Can I just say, who names their kid Gray??? How unfair is that? That’s just setting him up for a world of hurt. Regardless, when Richelle told me about this book I was ready to jump on it and now after reading her review, I’ve bought it. My weekend is looking up!

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Meet Guest Blogger Richelle Steinmetz!

We have the best readers. For serious. When Ellen left me stranded and alone in a desert of bad YA books so she could go on some pleasure trip to Africa, well, I had no idea what I was going to do. I asked our writing-inclined readers if anyone would be willing to pitch in

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for a review or two and luckily, this lovely lady did:

Say hi to Richelle, everybody! Nice glasses! And FYI I’m digging the hairstyle. I think we’re style twins cause my hair and my glasses look eerily similar to yours…

Let’s find out a little bit more about Richelle in her own words, shall we?

Hi! I’m Richelle, AKA, Rikki. My parents named me after the, ahem, wonderful song “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan (yes, I’m showing my age here!). I am part-time mom (to an almost 3 year old who thinks she’s 13), part-time substitute teacher (for actual teenagers – yikes!), and part-time reader extraordinaire (bow, curtsy, wave, smile). And, yes I LOVE young adult fiction books! Hopefully I can suggest some great books for everyone to read!

1 – My favorite YA author is… Drumroll please… There are so many! I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read from Rick Riordan, Ellen Hopkins, and Ann Brashares.

2 – My favorite YA book is (no pressure here!) Hunger Games or Hollowland.

3 – The 3 items I would have to have if I was stranded in Boise – but who would do that to me?! – would be my Kindle, my iPad, and my iPhone.

4 – My biggest pet peeve in a book is when the ending is awful! I seriously read all of the book for that?! No thanks!

5 – If I could be doing anything right now? I would be living in Hawaii, sitting on a beach, reading a book, and drinking a cocktail.

Good call with the cocktail, Richelle. I think we’re all gonna get along just fine…except for the fact that you’ve managed to get Rikki Don’t You Lose My Number firmly entrenched in my mind! ARGH!

Be on the look out tomorrow for her review of Almost by Anne Elliot.

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