Pages - 304
Ebook published by Razorbill on the 13th September 2012, paperback published by Razorbill in January 2013.
Book own copy.
I had never noticed Lucas before that night. It was as though he didn't exist, and then suddenly, he was everywhere.
Jacqueline seems to have a knack for making the wrong choices. She followed her boyfriend to his choice of university, disregarding her preference. Then he dumped her. She chose a minor she thought she could combine with her music studies, but she's falling behind. And then, leaving a party alone one night, she is attacked. If it wasn't for the timely intervention of a stranger, she would have been raped. Now she must make a choice - give up and give in, or toughen up and fight on. Only the support of the man who is tutoring her and the allure of the guy who saved her from the attack convince her that it's worth fighting on. Will Jacqueline now have to make a choice between them too? And can she make the right decision? It's not easy...
When you hear the term New Adult bandied around you are most likely to hear this title and author closely linked to it as the author is thought to be one of the leading authors in this genre. I am aware there are mixed feelings and views on the New Adult label and that this book in particular has been dismissed by some people for being just another hot teen romance with no real story. Well let me tell you straight, this book is not just full of sex, far from it and it has a much deeper theme to it than people are probably aware of.
This book deals with rape and whether or not sex is consensual which is rather a hot topic in itself recently and the author handles the topic in a mature and thoughtful manner. This book is about empowering women, showing them how they can take control of a situation. The strong use of self defence within the story had me questioning why teenagers are not taught this at school; isn't this a life skill that would benefit so many? Jacqueline is very quick to realise how she can protect herself and others and reduce any immediate danger.
The first chapter is rather a shocker and left me feeling really uncomfortable. If Lucas had not appeared from nowhere, the outcome would have been a totally different story. From that point on Lucas appears to be every where. Jacqueline discovers how often their pathways cross and quickly becomes attracted to his ways. Lucas is a tattooed hero of hotness. Seriously, he can ignite a room just by gazing through a window. He doesn't pressure Jacqueline into anything, which just makes him even more swoon worthy. He makes her ex boyfriend, Kennedy, look so shallow and full of crap. He is such a mundane character, he doesn't deserve to be mentioned. How Jacqueline ever thought that Kennedy was the love of her life, I honestly don't know.
The character arc for Jacqueline is amazing. By the end of the book she is a totally different person - she is maturer, more level headed, able to stand up for herself and capable of making her own decisions. With the love and support from Lucas, she finally becomes the person she is supposed to be.
I really really loved this book and it helped to lay the cement down for my new love of New Adult books. The romance was intense and exciting. The growth in the characters was rapid and thorough, heightened by the well paced plot which swayed through predictable and unpredictable territories. This book can easily be read in one sitting, because you find yourself so absorbed in the story that life outside no longer exists.This book definitely rates five stars in my eyes and one I would insist people read.