“I’m headed to the gym for a few, so listen for the timer. Burn lunch and I burn you.
Since I'm going to rage so hard on this one, I figured I'd start the review off with a quote from the only good thing about this book. Grayson, a secondary character. I love him. That's it. Let's move on.
Let me introduce you to the typical New Adult.
“You know, there’s more to a man than how he looks. You have to know what’s—” Sweet Lord, have mercy.
My Kindle hit the sand with my jaw. I’d never seen a man so beautiful, so raw in energy, or so…delicious looking.
A sexually repressed heroine who loses her mind when she sees the hot hero on the beach.
I was not a tender kind of guy. Hell, no. I was a no-effort, easy-lay, forget-’em-before-morning guy.
A hero who's sexually experienced and is proud of it. He's also not a relationship type of guy, because why would he be? But when he lays eyes on the heroine, he is able to take creepy to a whole new level.
I ran my barbell across my teeth, speechless for the first time since…ever and reminded myself that I did not believe in love at first sight, or that insane voice in my head that clearly said, “Mine.”
But not only do they see each other on the beach. No, our heroine gets in trouble and almost drowns so our hero must play the hero and save her. Guess what? After that they're in love. Sort of. I call it instalove, or at least disturbing obsession which, in New Adult, is the equivalence of (insta)love. So while they hang out more and more, they keep their deep dark past secret from each other. Because drama is necessary at all costs. It's rich secrets too, the type that can (and will) blow up in their faces once they're out. (I'll give you one guess if that will happen or not.)
And while they're being all secretive and things, what else is going on? Well, the hero is violent. The heroine is slutshaming other women. There's stereotypes all over the place. We have comments like these:
“You girls, all worried about your figures. A man likes curves, my gal.”
(And I need to comment that a man can like dicks too, just sayin'.)
In the male POV we have the man reminding us of the status of his dick as if that'd make his POV more male (it doesn't).
Basically, it's all very typical New Adult.
I've given away two stars for that in the past if some elements are good enough. That is not the case this time. Apart from the usual issues, it has some others one that's really big, and one that's relative. Let's start on the big one.
Paisley, our heroine, has a heart condition that might cause her death. (Not a spoiler, because it's said in the blurb.) Now, she needs surgery or a pacemaker. Everyone is telling her a pacemaker is the safest choice. And when I say everyone, I meaneveryone. The doctors, her parents, and friends. It's the reasonable choice. It's the one that will most likely have her survive. But Paisley doesn't want one. Why? Hell if I know. She has some reasons, but the main one being that she doesn't want one and that it doesn't feel right. (Helluva argument, right?) Basically, she's making this huge decision based on nothing but a hunch. In comes Jagger, the hero, who early in the book stated that he doesn't believe in God (I swear, this is important soon), and then have a big fight. It causes Jagger to leave, but Paisley finally decides to give the pacemaker a shot. A little later, Jagger comes to the conclusion that maybe Paisley's reasons for refusing the pacemaker are valid (they aren't). So he rushes to the hospital, and once again, because Paisley has a feeling that surgery is the better choice (she's still basing this on nothing but a hunch), she once more changes her mind and goes for the surgery.
Here comes the thing about Jagger saying he's not religious early in the book. While he's at the hospital, suddenly he's going to church, and Paisley's dad makes the "there's atheists in a foxhole" comment (which is insulting to both religious people and atheists, by the way), and then Jagger is praying like never before for Paisley's health. And (little spoilerish here) what do you know, it turns out the surgery is the better choice for Paisley due to a complication with her heart condition. Guess what, Paisley doesn't need the pacemaker after all, not with the surgery. Queue happily ever after. I, on the other hand, wasn't happy. I couldn't help but feel like I was being forced religious morals down my throat.
This is why I shy away from books with religion in themunless it's non-fiction. I understand that people are religious, it's their right. But when it comes to medicine, I tend to disagree with religious people. Like, in this instance, it felt like Paisley's decision to refuse the pacemaker was due to religious reasons (never really stated in the book, but given the outcome, that's what it felt like). I respect that people will make these decision with their religion in mind. But I disagree with their choice. And the fact that Paisley was saved by her little hunch and (as implied) Jagger's prayers... it doesn't sit well with me. There's a reason why we use modern technologies in medicine today, and it's to save lives. They are not saved by prayers and what else. That's my opinion (and there is research conducted on patients where prayers are involved and the result is not in favors for those patients who were prayed for).
That's the big one. Here's the relative one. Jagger, our Gary Sue hero, has photographic memory. (It's called eidetic memory, and google is your friend about this is a real thing or not and to what extent if it's real.) Jagger is also a physics mayor that doesn't know shit about physics from the look of it. According to this book, you're smart if you can memorize facts. And if you can memorize facts, you know physics. Let me tell you something, physics is not simple. It's not about memorizing facts. There is that, but there's so much more to it. You need to be able to analyze the facts, the equations, and the numbers. I know people that can memorize these equations, but can't use them worth a damn because they don't know how to use them. And when Jagger proclaims he has a degree in physics... my question is, what area? Jagger mentions how he likes the predictability of motions if you know the rules. Which only makes me wonder. And by movement, which ones does he mean? If he means a plane - he's becoming a pilot - that's another thing. Or does he mean the movements of electrons or subatomic particles? Yeah, saying he's got a degree in physics doesn't say much. And since his degree didn't add anything to the story, I assume it's included because it makes him sound smart. Sorry for long rant on this topic, but as I'm getting a degree in applied physics myself, all of these misconceptions about studying physics strikes a nerve with me.
And on that note I will finish this review. Since I loved Grayson, I'll end it with him.
“I figured you wouldn’t leave, so there’s a clean change of clothes, a flight suit, shaving kit, and a shit ton of caffeine. You’re going to need it.” He was halfway out the door before he turned around. “Oh, and I left your boots under your truck since the door was locked. Just pray no one steals them.”