Being stuck in the godforsaken desert is Adrian Blake’s worst nightmare come true.
Senior year is all about making fun memories. It’s not about starting over at a new school and navigating a new Brady Bunch family.
It’s really not about living with a sexy, arrogant would-be stepbrother who knows how to push her buttons.
Alex Montgomery is the very definition of a player.
The only thing he commits to is a one night stand.
He’s exactly the kind of guy she hates. When she sleeps with him, it’s the biggest mistake of her life.
Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Not at school. Not at home.
Sometimes the best mistakes are the ones that you make over and over again…
This book far exceeded my expectations. The cover did nothing for me and when I began reading and discovered it’s written in third-person, I was worried I’d feel too distanced from the protagonist to really get absorbed in the story. That didn’t happen. In fact, the point of view disappeared into the background as I became engrossed in Adrian’s world.
Adrian’s widowed father falls in love and proposes to a woman Adrian and her sisters have never met. And if that isn’t bad enough, he uproots them from the only home they’ve ever known and carts them off to Arizona, where it’s hot and dry and nothing at all like what they’re used to. Adrian meets her soon to be stepmother and her three sons, realizing her life is about to look a lot like a very modern-day Brady Bunch with her and her uber-hot stepbrother-in-waiting playing the roles of Marcia and Greg.
Adrian has a boyfriend back home, so she ignores Alex’s overt attempts to befriend her. It becomes clear he’s the “it” guy at her new school, but she doesn’t want to play his games. She decides to go it alone, only to find out to snub Alex is to be snubbed by everyone else. Her only friends are the school stoner and the gossip queen. When Adrian’s boyfriend dumps her, she ends up in Alex’s bed and the two of them race to see who can shut it down the fastest. Except neither one seems to be able to quit the other. The power struggle that ensues between these two is like a bad car accident. You want to look away, but you just can’t.
I found the story riveting even though the plot sort of rambled. Author Jenn Young does such a great job of creating spellbinding conflict that the plot almost takes a backseat. The story is primarily about Adrian’s goal to fit in at her new school, but it evolves into her wanting to best Alex, and then get Alex, and then best him again. And because of that, I never really knew what was going to happen next. Anything was possible.
The setting is a typical high school in blistering Arizona and it’s well done. Jenn Young seems to have captured the heart and soul of the modern teen world really well.
I didn’t like most of the characters. Adrian is self-absorbed, arrogant, and just plain mean at times. Alex is cocky, self-assured, and a complete douche. And yet both are incredibly well-crafted, deep, three-dimensional characters. Adrian’s sisters and Alex’s brothers also have issues that make them difficult to sympathize with, but they are absolutely fascinating. About the only characters I found likeable enough to hang out with were twins Justin and Bri and Adrian’s newfound stoner friend, Travis. Travis a bit stereotypical, but in his role as Adrian’s foil, it works.
Top Five Things I Love About Reason and Romance
1. Travis. He’s just fun and he keeps Adrian honest.
2. The dialogue. It’s fresh, witty, and sharp-tongued.
3. The conflict. There’s a lot of it and it’s just so good!
4. The ending. I’m dying to read the next book, but the ending totally rocked.
5. The characters. Okay, so I don’t love them love them, but I love how complex and riveting they are. They come alive on the page in vivid color.
Reason and Romance is a compelling debut novel that opens the door to what should be a fantastic young adult series.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: Reason and Romance
Series: River Valley
Author: Jenn Young
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon│Barnes & Noble│Kobo Books
About the Author
Jenn Young writes primarily Young Adult and New Adult. She used to write contemporary teen drama and romance under the pen name Myrika at Fictionpress. She also used to write under the pen name Moreta. Jenn is an unabashed lover of romance, soap operas, and paranormal/supernatural stories.
When Jenn’s not working at her day job, she drinks too much coffee and buys too many books. She loves to hear from readers. Contact her via her website, jennyoung.com, or follow her on Twitter at myrikami. She can be found on Facebook too.
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