Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: November 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Merit Press
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
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Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting way too much–and with her own cousin, Marcus.
Her friendship with him has turned into something she can’t control, and he’s the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for…no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn’t right about this stranger, and Jackie’s suspicions about the new girl’s secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus–and deepens Jackie’s despair.
Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else’s lies as the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?
I’d like to start off by saying that if you’re interested in this book because you loved Forbidden you might want to give it a pass. I don’t actually say this with any authority since I haven’t actually read the book but from the reviews I’ve read, I’d imagine that this book is nowhere near the same level as Forbidden.
That said, I adored the book. It wasn’t mind blowing, it wasn’t AMAHZING but at the same time, it was an emotional read and it kept me up for a couple minutes. You might imagine that is not a lot but I am usually someone who’d rather daydream before going to bed so the fact that I kept on coming back to this book was a big deal for me.
The characters are what take the cake in this book. The author makes them realistically flawed but at the same time they aren’t horrible people. They are lovable even if you want to shake them from time to time.
There is a good chance Jackie will bother you but she didn’t bother me. I loved that she wasn’t all, ‘we love each other, let’s do this’. She had doubts. She knows her relationship with her cousin isn’t going to be viewed the way she wished it could be viewed. The way society feels affects her. She doesn’t want to be the one that sticks out like a sore thumb because of who she loves. As a result, she ends up not realizing the extent of her feelings for Marcus and ends up pushing him away. I love that she actually realizes how silly she is being in a lot of the cases. That’s what makes her a likeable character. This is a self-discovery process and it takes her a while to realize what it is she wants and it takes her even longer to actually do something about it but then again, no one said that change would happen in a day.
Marcus is just as wonderful. He is a perpetually sweet guy but at the same time, he is tired of not being sure how Jackie feels about him and when they call the quits, he is a jerk. We know that he loves her but at the same time; he does immature things because he is heartbroken. Maybe subconsciously, he does want to hurt her, the same way she hurt him. It did make me want to shake him but considering the kind of guy he is, it made sense that he would lash out this way.
My favorite secondary character was hands down Will. The author could have easily made him into the douchy guy that would make the female lead realize how much she loved Marcus but the author didn’t do that. Instead she let Will be a genuinely nice guy, appearances aside. She let the two be friends and she let Will be the friend she really needed at that point of time.
All these wonderful things said; I am not so sure how I feel about the romance. It’s emotional and angsty and amazing but at the same time, I was discomforted by it. It was that odd mix of where I was cheering for them but at the same time, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with their relationship. In this case though, I don’t think it would entirely be possible to write a romance that would be a 100% comfortable.
The mystery was definitely a nice addition to the story but don’t go into this book thinking it’s going to be a mystery. It’s not. It’s still primarily a contemporary romance.
That isn’t to say that the mystery wasn’t good, the little there was. It just wasn’t as well developed as it could have been considering how well the author lay the foundations.
I wish I could talk about the ending but me saying anything would give away what happens and I think it’s for you to find out what becomes of the two and whether they get the HEA they want or if they end up going their separate ways.
I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an intense, emotional, contemporary romance to read.
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