We came from a family of writers. Alas, we can't write. So we blog about our love for books instead.
I was predisposed to dislike this book, given my growing annoyance with teacher-student relationships, but a glowing review by someone whose opinions I respect convinced me to give it a try. I'm glad I did.
Right off the bat, I realized that this was different from other new adult titles in that we have a slutty heroine. Not the typical everyone-thinks-I'm-a-slut-but-really-I'm-not kind of girl we usually get in books, but a girl who genuinely enjoys hooking up. We meet Maise alone and drunk at a carnival. Told from her point-of-view, her first sentence includes the word "fuck" and you know that she's not going to be a dainty kind of chick either. She walks around, enjoying older guys' eyes on her legs and acknowledges upfront that she's screwed up, daddy issues and all. She's not just a tease either; she has slept with guys twice and thrice her age and she prefers that to the groping awkwardness of teenagers. I wasn't at all sure that I was going to like her at first, but she eventually wins me over when I realize that she has a good head on her shoulders and she's not throwing away her future any time soon.
We meet Mr. Wilke here too. I didn't care much for his sensitive mouth and overly beautiful face, but it was refreshing that he wasn't another jealous stereotype. He calls her out on her seduction tactics and at the end of that first encounter, he's the one who wants names and she's the one who gives him hope and runs away.
So apparently, while I have an issue with Will Cooper of Slammed for being overly honorable for a tedious amount of time and an issue also with Garrick Taylor of Losing Itfor giving in to the urge too easily, I have no issue with Evan Wilke who almost immediately launches into an affair with Maise. Maybe it's because she kisses him first or maybe it's because they just want it badly enough that they skip through the agonizing preachy guilt trip that usually comes with this type of novel. Their story could have ended up cheap and tawdry, like that motel where they first started hooking up. But they owned it and other than that they had to hide it, everything else about their relationship felt like what real relationships are made of: conversations and laughter and love.
Maise meets Wesley too, who soon becomes her best friend. I was almost rooting for him to win Maise's heart. Almost. This story feels very real, down to the petty concerns about money, where Maise wants to pay her share for the motel. Or her platonic crush on Wesley's mother, since she was blessed only with a drug-pusher for one. I think there were too many intimate "scenes."
Obviously, there's all types of wrong in this novel and I wouldn't recommend it to someone who likes to see the world in black and white. If you're in the mood for gray, pick this book up.