Ripped From the Headlines With NA Tropes: 738 Days by Stacey Kade

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

Source: GoodReads

When I saw the premises for this book I had to have it. It had a bit of rip from the headlines feel to it, i.e. the Cleveland Kidnappings, and add the element of Hollywood and I knew that I was either going to really like this book or not.

In the end, I had a bit of a lukewarm experience. A lot of things worked, but at the same time I wanted more from this book. In a way it suffered from New Adult Syndrome—meaning, instead of having a plot the book mostly focused on the characters lusting after themselves which lead to a sort of rolling your eyes experience.

Although, not too much because even though the plot was sort of meh, I did enjoy the two characters and there was some stuff about this book that really worked.

I really loved the character, Amanda, for instance. I thought she was well formed and I thought the PTSD was pretty realistic for the most part. The first chapter in this book was probably its best chapter. You could really see how broken Amanda was, and I was interested in reading the aftermath that followed. Maybe that was part of my disappointment in what occurred next. The book quickly flashes forward to years later, and while we’re told bits and pieces of what occurred after Amanda was rescued, I really wish we were shown some flashbacks. I share similar thoughts about her actual kidnapping and then subsequent captivity, but I can sort of understand why Kade might not want to show them—since this was Amanda dealing with the aftermath of the kidnapping rather the kidnapping itself.

Though, I was damn curious to know more about Jakes and his motivations besides being a creepy pervert in the vein of Ariel Castro.

While Amanda was very well formed, I was a little meh about Chase at first. I do think in the end Kade did the best she could with the guy, but he wasn’t exactly easy to sympathize with at first.

There were a few things about the plot that had me raise a few questions. Again, the book suffered from New Adult Syndrome and the plot only made an appearance when needed. And I really didn’t feel like there was adequate explanation about some of the characters at the end.

As for the climax, it just felt very Lifetime movie-ish to me.

Again, New Adult Syndrome.

Overall, I could really see 768 Days adapted into a guilty pleasure Lifetime Original Movie. God knows, it had all the right elements and tropes. However, the book itself wasn’t a total flop, it did have great characters. The thing is, this book would’ve been truly spectacular if more time was spent fleshing out their backstories and respective plots rather than focusing on hot they found each other/how sad their respective lives were.

Overall Rating: A B. I liked this one, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped. I don’t have any regrets reading it though, but I really don’t wish that New Adult Syndrome was a thing. It ruins lots of potentially good books.

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