Jacqueline’s sophomore year of college has been anything but easy. Seemingly out of nowhere, her boyfriend of three years dumps her so he can sow his wild oats, which causes her to spiral into depression and miss class (including a midterm), then her bestie drags her to a frat party to pull her out of her breakup depression and she narrowly escapes rape. Before that night, she had never seen Lucas before, but after he stops her attempted attacker, she can’t escape him. He’s in her economics class, he works at Starbucks, and she can’t help but notice him. There is obviously more to Lucas than what meets the eye and she becomes curiouser and curiouser about him. Can she get over her ex and make things work with Lucas?
Jacqueline was an interesting main character. In the beginning, I was a little annoyed with her because she allows her break up to cause her to almost fail her economics class and she doesn’t tell her best friend about the attempted rape. She just wants to forget about it which is understandable, but considering the attacker is someone she is bound to see at school, she really needed the support of her BFF to help her through it all. She gets better after a few chapters. She comes to her senses and begs her econ teacher to let her do extra credit work to make up for what she has missed. By the end of this book, she goes from timid and scared to strong and brave. It was a slow transformation, but it was great to watch.
Then there is Lucas. This whole story is told from first person through Jacqueline’s perspective so you never find out exactly what is going on in his head, but damn did I want to. Holy hot tattooed-ness Batman! I think Lucas is that guy that every girl wants, bad ass with a bad boy vibe that is only skin deep, with a troubled passed, and a lot of, well I want to say “heart underneath,” but I feel like I overuse that phrase. He’s that guy that turns every head on the walk by, but only really has eyes for one girl. Tall and dark with broody looks and tattoos covering his arms, he’s that guy that all girls mom’s fear. And yet, he’s really not. He’s also the guy who gives his time to help teach a self-defense class for women and tries to help in any way he can. He’s completely swoon-worthy.
This novel blew me away. I was so caught up in it that it felt like life has stopped for me to finish it. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Before reading it, I’d heard a lot of things about the new genre, New Adult, and was a little weary of it. It seemed to me that it was basically renaming the YA genre so adults could read them without feeling embarrassed about it. I was not amused. But boy was I fucking wrong. New Adult may just be my new favorite genre. It takes all the things I love about YA and the things I love from adult books and combines them. The characters can swear realistically instead of that imitation shit that is so prevalent in YA (every time Zoe Redbird said “bull-poop” I wanted for fucking punch her) and that need to have teenagers shy away from sex is also gone. Basically, to me, it reads like a real college student would think.
It was so well written and dealt with the mature content so beautifully. In regards to the rape issues, it was done so elegantly, with Jacqueline struggling to come to terms with what happened. Her fear of even practicing the ways to get out of the holds in the self-defense class is so understandable. You guys just don’t even know. If you haven’t read it, you really should. This book caused me to do something I NEVER do. I was so wrapped up in the world that when it was over I couldn’t let it go and ended up reading the damn thing over again. And I mean reading, not just skimming over the parts I liked, actually re-reading the whole fucking thing. That says something because I don’t think I have ever done that. It really makes me wish I could give a label higher than “favorite” because that just doesn’t seem like enough. Maybe I should make one along the lines of “Epic, Awesome, Amazing, Phenomenal, Unparalleled”….too much?