A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night–but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
(Mature Young Adult/ New Adult)
I discovered this book by accident, or maybe it was fate? I recently had the pleasure of attending Fresh Fiction’s Readers and Rita’s weekend. Got hang out with some authors I adore, and some GPBR co-workers I don’t get to see often enough. Big plus to this event was a giant bag of book swag. There were all kinds of titles, many genre’s I don’t typically read. I had them all stacked up to give out to friends and family. One cover really caught my interest, it was Tammara Webber’s Easy. It was one of those moments where I had five minutes to kill and read the first few pages. I was hooked, that’s always a good sign right?
I don’t typically read YA, because I’m an adult, teen-aged angst isn’t something I sympathize with now that I’m a parent. 😀 But this story isn’t about high school kids and being popular or finding their place. The focus of this story is about becoming an adult reinforcing the moral compass of right and wrong. When to walk away, when to fight back, and when to speak up.
The story is written in first person and begins with Jacqueline, a music major attending a state university on the heels of her high school boyfriend, Kennedy… who just dumped her. Like three years of togetherness down the drain. She’s depressed, lonely and generally feeling like she’s made a big mistake in her long-term career path. Why is she here and not pursuing a Fine Arts program at another University? Add to that a near rape and sexualt assault at Frat costume party, and she’s a wreck.
Lucas is the man who saved her, from a full assault, and she never knew he existed, until that moment. It seems he’s suddenly everywhere. He’s a cute bad boy artist, and her friends have decided he’s the perfect ‘rebound’ He’s fun, and smart, and admittedly a bit of a bad ass… on a motorcycle. (SCORE!)
Her downward spiral to reality includes a few weeks of missed classes where’s she is going to tank her GPA on Economics she only took to sit with her boyfriend…. seemed like at good idea at the time –now not so much. She’s got to work hard and regain control of her academics to come out of this funk. Between studies, music, and life crises, Jacqueline manages to make a real connection.
The relationship between these two builds slowly, but the electricity between them is perfect. I loved watching them fall in love- super sweet, and genuine. I was drawn to Ms. Webber’s style and her approach to tough topics. I love how she combined informal communications of emails and text’s into the dialogue. Instead of pointing out right from wrong, she focuses on giving her characters a place to grow and to discover why we must speak up for ourselves, and pursue our own dreams. To become MORE. Both Jacqueline and Lucas grow from the story brighter and stronger than when they started. You feel as if there is hope and rightness to emerge from something that shakes you to your core and redefines you. All in all a fantastic story that I would recommend to everyone.
Warnings: This title is probably best called “new adult’ as the leads are college aged adults, and I think the material is appropriate for near adults, say 16 and up. There is some instance of physical/sexual assault, some consensual sex, and mention of under aged (over 18 and under 21) drinking and brief reference to marijuana use (by others, used to describe their personality). All of it is tasteful and came across as very real for experiences at this age.