I will say I wasn’t sure about this book at first since it took me a while to really get into it, but by the end I was so invested in these characters that my emotions were all over the place. I rate this beautifully touching coming of age romance 4 out of 5 stars!
When Drix was convicted of a crime—one he didn’t commit—he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.
Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.
When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.
But sometimes love can breach all barriers.
Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves—Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence—and each other to finally get what they deserve.
This is a long book, at almost 500 pages its pretty dense for a romance and takes a bit of time to get through. However, because it’s a bit longer I never felt the romance in this book was rushed at all, it felt natural and convincing. What a breath of fresh air it is to read a romance that is believable and not “insta-romance”! The characters were all very well written and I loved the back stories behind each character. Elle is a fierce, determined, smart female lead character, a definite role model for many people who will read this book. Drix was heartbreaking, yet strong, and everything he went through throughout this story made me love him even more. The side characters each had their own little bits of personality and I enjoyed each one, the book wouldn’t have been nearly as good if even one of these side characters had been absent.
Katie McGarry writes about really important topics, giving these topics the time and attention they deserve. Such as how women are treated in politics, or when in the spotlight and made to look good, or just in general every day activities. How women feel they can’t have a voice because they have to do what they have to do for the success of a loved one or if they stand up for themselves against creeps they will be harassed even more. Elle’s story was really powerful and I am really grateful to the voice Katie gave her as well as letting readers understand these types of situations more clearly. Katie also goes into topics such as under privileged youth having a hard time making anything with their life since they are often neglected. The importance behind that entire message is huge. There are quite a number of important topics covered in this book and its amazing how well Katie addressed each of them.
For my negatives, like I said above this book is long. I felt it dragged for awhile and there were pros to it being a bit longer, but I did think some of it could have been condensed a little. There was a point where I felt I needed to skim read to pick up the pace, and it took me until about 100 pages left to get emotionally invested. Also, I don’t want to give too much away so I won’t say more than this; if you are an animal lover some parts may be hard for you to read.
Overall, I thoroughly recommend this book. It covers important topics in graceful and meaningful ways. The characters are all lovable and you’ll get wrapped up in their stories and not want to say goodbye. Out today, 1/30/18 be sure to pick up a copy!