Katie Hallman is done with douchebags. Done with guys who treat her like crap and leave her broken. But then Stryker Grant is there anyway. With his numerous piercings and bleached hair, he’s the polar opposite of all of her past relationships, which makes him the perfect candidate.
At first, Katie just sees him as a physical escape from her previous rocky relationship, and Stryker doesn’t seem to mind just being a distraction from Katie’s problems. But soon he’s getting under her skin, peeling back layers she’d rather keep covered. She tries to make it clear that she doesn’t want a relationship, but keeps breaking her own rules.
Then a tragedy sends Katie into the only arms who are there to catch her, and she’ll realize that she needs him more than she ever thought possible. But is she ready to let herself trust another guy with her already-battered heart? Or will she push him away to protect herself from getting hurt again?
Expected Publication 4/20/13
Received eARC from author for honest review
Recommended for 17+ due to mature content.
Courtney recently introduced my to this series and in this novel we get Katie and Stryker's story.
1) Katie: We were introduced to Katie in Deeper We Fall and I had only slightly warmed up to her by the end of that novel. She appeared to be shallow and was with Zack--a notorious douche (sorry, but he was). At the beginning of this novel, I wasn't completely certain where I stood with her, but I kept going. She was hard for me to figure out--why was she the way that she was? Through her story she developed into a stronger and more compassionate young woman. I liked that she wasn't this perfectly formed human being at the end of the novel because I feel that that is a fairly accurate portrayal of many women her age. She shouldn't know it all...she has time to figure things out. Needless to say, she grew on me.
2) Stryker. I was intrigued. He's a genius in school and in music. He's a great brother and friend. He's pierced and tattooed. He seems so in control of himself and so world-wise. Yet! He falls for his opposite, Katie, as she is in the throws of a discovering who and how and why she is. I found him so appealing because he was so comfortable in his own skin. For the most part, he humored the stares and judgment and didn't walk around with a huge chip on his shoulder. He was the perfect example of why judging a book by its cover can often make for missed opportunities to know something or someone really special.
3) The friends. I love this group of misfits (probably because they remind me of my friends). There are so many reasons why they shouldn't work or fit together, but they just do. They are supportive and, yet, they know when its time to kick butt. Both of those qualities become important in this novel.
4) The truth. Chelsea Cameron wrote awkward situations for her characters (the whole Thanksgiving fiasco, cough, cough) and I really enjoyed how honest she made those feel. The conversations Katie and Stryker had about the various awkward situations they found each other in (or put each other in) were refreshingly uncomfortable but insightful. In addition to that kind of truth, I liked how (in both novels) characters weren't punished for being honest. I think it's a nice lesson for us all. The truth isn't always pretty or kind, but it is what it is.
I loved this line: "No Space"...you'll love it too, when you get there. :)
If I had any wish for this book, it would be to know more--why pink?, what will Katie study?, why was Katie so insecure?, what happens with Kayla? Trish? Will and Aud? Hopefully, Chelsea Cameron will have mercy on us and give us one last installment to these friends.
1) Katie. YES! This is the picture perfect book to explain New Adult to people. Yes, there is sex in this book. Even if you took out every single part of that, it still perfect to describe the genre. It is the story of a freshman in college that has bad things happen to her and chronicles how she deals with it and if she learns anything and grows as a person. I too spent most of Deeper We Fall thinking how much of an idiot she was. Love is blind should've been written on her forehead! I was very glad that the story started prior to the end of book one to give us Katie's point of view for the end of DWF and sets up Faster We Burn. I was as tired of other people's opinions that she was either an airhead for wearing pink, or had a perfect life because of her socioeconomic status as she was. She wasn't perfect, and she had quite the journey that I enjoyed taking with her.
2) Stryker. I really, really, really liked him. He had made a lot of bad choices in his life, but his strength in standing up and taking care of his sister in both of their times of need showed just how much more mature he was than his appearance gave him credit for. I wanted to jump in and smack Katie's mom for her behavior over and over. Can anybody say hypocrite, with a capital H! Even though his appearance didn't fit the bill, he still tried to be the knight in shining armour on more than one occasion. He showed vulnerability along the way that endeared him to me so much more. He also let Katie be who she was without being offended with some of the things she said. (For the record, his piercings are hot!)
3) The friends. You can say that again. Companion novels are my favorite for this reason. Even though the focus shifted to Katie and Stryker, EVERYBODY from Deeper We Fall is still key players in book 2. We get to see how Zan and Lottie are doing and dealing, as well as if Will and Aud will EVER admit they have feelings for each other.
4) The truth. These young people (Dunno why I said that, I'm not much older..) impressed me with their honesty as well. Especially Trish. She didn't beat around the bush ever, did she? If we strive to be like anyone, it should be her. She is blunt, honest, and loyal, and stands up for those she cares about. This brings me back to how well the secondary characters were written, because we fell in love with them too. There was that one thing that I just KNEW was going to blow up in Stryker's face. It did in a way, causing more feelings of tragedy, but in the end left them able to grow even more. Well written angst = Chelsea 1 - Courtney 0, since I didn't at all guess where things were going!
So I cheated and read your part before starting the book, and was like "No space." Huh. I so get it now!! That will be on a lot of picture quotes I am sure!
I was left wondering those same questions as you, mostly about the pink wearing, and what decision she was going to make for the summer.
It also seems that Chelsea is a woman after my heart with all of The Vampire Diaries love I found in this book!!! Dot dot dot....Damon in the pilot episode (when he was more bad ass and cranky, and yes I remember the EXACT episode!!) And the music! Soundtrack of my life. I LOVED all of it!