Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.
I’ve loved Kylie Scotts writing for many years now and so I’m always excited when she releases new books. This one in particular though intrigued me even more than usual because of its unique storyline. The heroine meets the hero when she gets held up at gunpoint in a robbery gone wrong and he risks his life to save hers. A few weeks later she’s surprised to find that he attends her new school. He’s mysterious and has a reputation as a bad boy but despite his many warnings, she feels safe with him and their tentative friendship slowly begins to turn to love…
“Because this is where you are,” he said, as if it were obvious.
The story begins with the robbery. And the way this scene was written was incredibly vivid. I could imagine it so clearly. It was just a normal, quiet night — nothing to give cause for alarm or and nothing that might have given Edie any idea of what was to come. She’d just finished raiding the snack isle of her local convenience story and was leaving with her purchases when a deranged man burst in murdering the clerk and holding her hostage at gunpoint. Terrified, she had no idea how she was going to get out alive. But then her unlikely savior out to be another teen she’d never met before who did everything he could to get her out of the horrible situation unharmed.
“I should have been able to protect you.”
“Don’t,” I said. “We both got out alive. That’s what matters.”
After changing schools to escape the gossip, she found herself face to face with her savior again. He was gorgeous, elusive, mysterious and alluring, but he firmly warned her away from him. It seemed that everyone she met either wanted to be his friend or his conquest and yet few people really knew him. In so many ways, he was her complete opposite — bad boy to her good girl. However, they were both drawn together bonded by that one night.
“You did save my life.”
The trace of a sad smile flitted around the corners of his mouth.
I pulled myself forward on the bed and gathered the sheets up around my legs. “Why did you tell yourself not to come here?”
“Because I’m poison.” His eyes fixed on mine. “I don’t want to drag you down… There’s no coming back from that.”
Despite the suspenseful beginning of this story, I’d actually describe the overall feeling of this book as quiet and healing. The author did a really great job of showing the aftermath — both the large ways that such a traumatic incident impacted their lives as well as the more subtle ones – the little shifts in perspectives. Suddenly things that had once seemed so important in their lives weren’t. And sometimes previously ignored aspects were now focal. Life and death issues took on a whole knew meaning for them. As did the appreciation of simply being alive and present to live in each moment.
“I found it hard to care. I mean, what did it matter? Life went on; no one had died as a result. The principal said it would go on my permanent record. Permanent? Please. Bullets were permanent. Everything else was temporary.
This book kind of rides the line between mature YA and very early NA. The characters are in their late teens, falling in love for the first time, and experiencing the heady all-consuming rush of feelings for each other that rock their world. There’s sex but it’s tastefully written and incorporated into the story. Everything is told from the heroine’s POV in a linear storyline and the writing is engaging and absorbing. And despite some of the more serious moments, there’s a definite thread of humor woven through the story…
“No. We are not drunk-texting John.”
*Two hours later…*
“Is cock splash one word or two, do you think?” asked Hang, chewing on her bottom lip while she studied the screen of my cell.
“You’re calling him a cock splash?”
“Inventive, isn’t it?”
I read this book in one sitting and really enjoyed it! The writing was strong, the story was unique, and the characters felt very real. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a different type of mature YA romance to read!
They’ve also produced a fantastic book trailer (that really seems more movie trailer quality to be honest) so I’ve posted it down below if you want to watch and get a further idea of what to expect from this book 🙂
Rating: 4 – 4.5 stars! Standalone Mature YA Romance.