Why I read it:
I’d heard mostly good things about this self published new adult novel, so I bought it when it was 99c at Amazon. I thought it was a pretty low risk investment. It was subequently picked up by HarperCollins.
What it’s about:
(from Goodreads) Some things are worth waiting for…Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.Some things are worth experiencing…
Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.
Some things should never be kept quiet…
But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?
And some things are worth fighting for…
Warning: I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that this book contains a (not very graphic) description of sexual assault. It’s not by the hero, but those for whom rape is a hot button may want to avoid it.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): For the hero-centric reader, there is a lot to enjoy in how very nearly perfect Cameron is. Even his flaws arise out of being protective and caring. He falls for Avery almost from the beginning, is very patient with her without ever being doormat. He’s gorgeous, popular, and not an asshole, so: win.
Relationships aren’t on Avery’s radar at all and she finds it very difficult to accept that Cam is truly interested in her and he does have a bit of a reputation with the ladies (although he’s not, I don’t think, a player). Cam and Avery get to know each other as friends the the romance develops very slowly – with a lovely and satisfying build of sexual tension. Cam asks Avery on a date almost daily and it is a long long time before Avery accepts. For Cam, once he’s set his sights on Avery, there is no other woman in his heart or mind and this is a pretty powerful fantasy and I totally bought into it.Because there is the slow build in the relationship there is a kind of unevenness to the love scenes – in that there are quite a few of them and they are all toward the end of the book. While I thought there was perhaps a few too many, conversely there was one which was absent which I would have liked to have seen – that is, the one after Cam finds out the truth of Avery’s past. It was kind of glossed over and I thought that was important.
Cam’s parents were practically perfect in every way but genuine in a non-Mary Poppins way so it worked for me. As Avery’s parents were so lacking, I was glad to see her being taken in by Cam’s family and I very much liked that Avery’s attraction to Cam wasn’t because of his family – that was just an added bonus.
Avery’s parents were fairly one-dimensional and that was a little disappointing. I’m not 100% sure of what the law is in the US but here, a minor isn’t legally bound by any contract so the angst over Avery’s non-disclosure agreement and the fact that she signed it at all, felt unfair.
I did think the threatening emails and phone calls thing was a little thing plot-wise – the motivation was murky to me and the length of time it continued felt more like it was there to serve the plot rather than any organic reason. But, the main reason I read the book was for the romance between Cam and Avery and those emails and phone calls were mostly peripheral to that.
There is something about the desperation of first (or nearly first) young love that appeals to me and I think this is why I enjoy New Adult romance. This one had that compelling/ desperate quality and I liked it very much.
What else? Even though the book was copy edited (according to the acknowledgements in the back), there were an alarming number of typos, missing words and misused words in the book. I expect the HarperCollins version has tidied these things up. As much as I enjoyed the book, these errors kept throwing me out of the story and there were really quite a lot of them. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the book, but I think I would have been more caught up if it had been error free.If you like an angsty, dramatic read, and sexual assault doesn’t trip your triggers, this might be for you.
I'm really not surprised you liked it because it is a compelling story. But unlike you, I wasn't able to focus on the romance because all the other issues (the way sexual abuse was handled, who the villain ended up being, the tokenism, the stereotypical and flat portrayal of female relationships, etc.) were way too distracting for me. But I'm obviously the outlier here.This is a great review, though, and it illustrates how personal and unique each reading experience is.
Enjoyed reading your review. I read and enjoyed the story as well. It was engaging enough that most of the flaws didn't bother me.
@Brie I was the opposite LOL. The romance was compelling enough for me to overlook the other things. That said, I didn't *notice* some of the things you did – I haven't gotten that far in my feminist evolution yet I guess. I do agree with you re the villain though – that didn't make a great deal of sense to me.
@E thx 🙂 there were definitely things which didn't work that well but I fell for the romance between Cam and Avery so much it wasn't too hard for me to overlook them.
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