Oh, new adult. The new genre that I absolutely despise. I might have graduated from my undergrad back in 2010, but I’m sure that some things at universities have not changed. Like, for instance, that there’s this one hot guy on campus that everyone knows, or that there’s a hot party every weekend, or every freshman is a sad, pathetic, hot girl who has a deep dark secret. But wait…that’s new adult. And I thought that maybe if this genre could be written be written by someone who has shown talent and promise in the past for being a great writer (a.k.a. Jennifer L Armentrout). However, did she do the unthinkable and make me a fan of these books…um, no. No. Unfortunately…well, let’s review the book shall we.
General Summary: Avery goes to some NA college (a.k.a. where partying not your academics matters) and meets this instantly hot guy. But she can’t commit because of her dark deep past even though she is practically drooling over him and everyone and their mother knows it.
This book was really boring. And I think that’s something that most people who like plot would say about any NA book. Nothing ever happens in these books. It’s all about the relationship, but not about the way you’d like to see a relationship develop. All that happens in these books is the following: 1) Insta love/lust 2)Witty (or in most cases painful) banter, 3) being assigned partners in some lame class where the most you’d normally do in said class is a final/couple of papers, 4)Longing and eye sex, 5) the hero asks out the heroine she says no, 4) She finally relents around Thanksgiving, 5) They have a Great first date and he asks her to spend Thanksgiving with his family, 6) Of course she says yes because her family sucks, 6) It goes great then she freaks out, 7) They fight over break and get back together, 8) They finally have sex or get close to having sex and then something bad will happen, 9) Another fight will ensure, 10) But true love will triumph and they’ll get back together. Any other plot in the book, forget about it?
And I think this is what annoyed me about this book (till the last twenty pages) the most and really for the genre in general. None of these books are original. They all follow the same formula and I don’t like the formula to begin with. It wasn’t like I was expecting aliens or anything with this book, but I wanted something better this. This just seemed like a better written version of Beautiful Disaster (though this book was full of grammatical errors too). Is it that difficult to think that someone might have different college experience? There are so many ways people can experience college. For instance, unlike the characters in these NA books, I went to a large commuting school where not everyone knew your name and parties weren’t really the thing to do on campus since we always had some warning about being mugged while trying to get in the dorms(my undergrad was located in a horrible neighborhood), and instead of insta love I was focusing on raking in all the GPA points I could so I could get into law school. What I’m trying to get is that college is a different experience for everyone and I wish these books tried to address that instead of pigeon toeing how the college experience is supposed to be.
Besides the cliches, I was really disgusted with the character development in this book. Avery was meh at best. I got extremely frustrated with her. And as for Cam, I thought he was a watered down version of Daemon Black, though he still had his moments and actually saved this book from getting a lower score. The side characters though, aside from the fact that one was a rip off of a wonderful bit character on General Hospital they pretty much sucked.
The biggest problem I had, which I’ll talk about in more depth in a minute, is how sexual assault was handled. It just disgust me and once again, I think this all goes back to the new adult cliche. This should’ve been an issue that discussed more instead of thought of as after thought.
It also seemed that editing was an after thought with this novel as well since there were many grammatical as well obnoxious choices in word use throughout the book (there’s only so many sweet baby Jesuses that a person can take).
Best Feature: Cam. Compared to most NA heros Cam is pretty dreamy. He does have his douchey moments and almost went all Travis fucking Maddox on us, but he refrained himself. And they didn’t get married or pregnant at the end which I appreciated. Still though, Cam is no Daemon Black.
Worst Feature: Sexual assault. It’s a touchy subject and these new adult books, they always handle it wrong. Especially this book the last fifteen percent of the novel really grated on my nerves. I’m probably going to be giving away pertinent spoilers in this chapter-though who reads NA for the plot- but sexual assaulting, fondling a child in Texas is considered to be statutory rape. It’s a strict liability crime and carries a pretty heavy sentence. This isn’t the sort of crime that the charges can just be swept under the rug because the parties work out a deal with each other. Texas is serious about protecting its children. To the point in cases like this enablers can be charge with endangering a child. Now maybe this is me being really nitpicky, but since there was DNA evidence and since she was underage, I really think it would’ve been handled differently in real life. Plus, I really hated how Avery supposedly to tell everyone about her rape to move on. It’s none of their damn business. Not even Cam’s. Yeah, it would probably help her, but it’s her own decision. Honestly, how this whole subplot was handled disgusted me on so many levels.
Appropriateness : This is NA which means there’s adult language, Jaime McGuire (fuck you, every other sentence) language, and mature situations. Hardly something for a preteen to read and maybe a lesser maturer teen as well.
Blockbuster Worthy: Ugh, no. I don’t really want to see any new adult book on the big screen it would be so boring. Way worse than any Nicholas Sparks book adaption (and there have been some bad Nicholas Sparks adaptions, Nights in Rodanthe, anyone?) But since I feel obligated to, I will cast the roles.
Cam: Um, that guy on the Lux cover but without the green contacts. Yeah, him. That’s who I imagine Cam as or really any guy in an Armentrout book.
Overall Rating: I’m giving this one a four and that’s being generous. It has some cute moments and despite the glaring errors, the writing for the most part was fairly decent. But this one is not worth the hype my friends. Then again, I don’t think the new adult genre is worth its hype. You know what, maybe one of these days I’ll write my own new adult and actually try to make it different. Meaning my heroine will only use the word fuck when it’s necessary. She won’t suffer from some horrifying experience in the past that isn’t mentioned till the last ten pages of the novel. And she and Mr. BMOC won’t fall instantaneously in love. But then, if I wrote a book that it probably wouldn’t sell unless of course aliens abduct everyone and….never mind.