"So stop looking at the past and all the things you can’t change. They’re done and over with. Now is the time for you to look to the future, grasp it by the hand, and decide where you want to go. I told you once before, and I’ll say it again—this is your life, Chase. Only you can decide what it’s going to be like. Don’t let outside forces dictate it for you.”
I'm actually surprised I liked this as much as I did. I blame watching too many Disney movies in my days (like that's posible, huh?), but I didn't mind the realistic take/end on this kind of story.
This was my second book by Weatherford, my first being Crush (and a complete disappointment). With Crush one of the biggest problem was how the teenagers didn't act/speak/think like teenagers. With Chasing Nikki I expected something similar, but that isn't the case. The characters were actually nice and acting their age.
Chasing Nikki is the story of Chase, a boy who's father passed away about a year ago in a plane crash. Now Chase has been drowning his sorrows in booze, cigarettes, and drugs. He's pulled away from old friends and football. When one nights goes a little too far his mother decides it's time for them to move. So Chase and his mother moves to Arizona to live with his grandparents. Here Chase soon makes new friends. Not only that, he finds Nikki: stubborn Nikki who at first refuse to go out with him or even give him the time of the day. Considering the title of this book, I believe you can guess what happens next.
My problem now was that no one was willing to look deep enough to see the real me that lay dormant beneath the surface. Everyone thought I was a troublemaker, the bad boy, the punk.
I wasn’t. I was just broken.
Chase was a decent character, both with his good moments and the bad. He's got a sense of humor and was easy to sympathize with. Sometimes he whined a bit too much for my taste, but on the whole I enjoyed him. Then we have Nikki, who, in my opinion, was rather bland. Regardless of her personality to watch their relationship grow was endearing, seeing how both grew from it. The pacing of the first part where they get together was completely off, but I didn't mind that much and could overlook it, because I had my suspicion of what was to come next, which it did. I won't mention what happens because that will spoil everything, but the second part was definitely better than the first despite the events in it.
Now, there is one major thing that lowered this rating from a four to a three, and that is this:
My mom squinted, looking at me closely. “You’re in love with her, aren’t you? I mean really in love, not just some teenager puppy I’m-so-cool-with-my-girlfriend type of affection.”
I had a different opinion here. Chase and Nikki's relationship is so quick, and even if people can fall in love quickly, I never bought that they fell in love, like really in love. Their relationship felt more like something convenient and, most of all, safe. As if they both knew nothing too serious would come out of to make them face everything they'd been through. However, I see that the author intended to make them that deeply in love. Personally, I would've preferred if the author made this story into the one where they didn't love each other as much as the story suggested, and that's what made me lower my rating. I didn't lower if because I would've preferred it so, but because the story didn't offer enough to make me believe in Chase and Nikki's supposedly deep love. Also, I can see where this series is going, and I can practically feel the drama/angst the second book will entail. I'll probably try the second book, but since I can predict what's going to happen there it might take a while to get there. Anyway, a good story, and I see why so many people love it. It just wasn't enough for me.