So, fiction used to be divided in age from Children, to Young Adult, to Adult. Now there's a new genre. Somebody has decided that we need to smoosh in something else between Young Adult and Adult, so we now have New Adult. Books for/about people who are newly adults. It might seem like a marketing ploy, but this is a good thing, because now when you want something a bit more powerful than the usual YA snogfests, something with more intensity and excitement, you know where to turn. So I'm going to join in the growing trend for devoting Mondays to reviewing New Adult books. Not that it's going to happen every Monday!
Published by: Intermix
Release date: 7th May 2013
I got it from: NetGalley
Quote: "I couldn't see or think. I could only feel the press of his body against me, his breath a hot rush past my ear as his lips brushed over mine. It wasn't what I was expecting. It wasn't a determined or aggressive or erotic kiss. It was delicate, worshipful, teasing."
When Rory Macintosh’s
roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been
with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her
lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to
do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough
for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at
his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell
their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her
roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something
about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find
themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s
broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need
to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her
heart, no matter what the cost…
I haven't read that many 'new adult' genre books yet, but I'm already starting to see a pattern. Good girl meets bad guy, bad guy turns out to have a heart of gold, they fall into an improbably but passionate relationship, stuff happens... I've recently read Beautiful Disaster and loved it sooo much. I have yet to review it, as I'm concentrating on my NetGalley reviews at the moment, but I'll get there eventually. I hate to say it, but True seems like a lesser version of Beautiful Disaster. Which is not entirely a bad thing - I really enjoyed it. It's certainly an easier read - I found BD incredibly stressful to read at time. True has its ups and downs, but it's not as intense.
I liked Rory, but I found her a little hard to believe - 20 and never had a boyfriend? But I guess it happens. She's investing everything in her studies, and she's an introvert. I like the way her sense of humour gradually peeks out. We get to know her as Tyler does - a bit at a time, and with each bit of her character that's revealed, she becomes more likeable. She's a person who isn't into talking about her feelings, or letting anyone get near her, and in Tyler she recognises a kindred spirit. Together they learn how to let someone in, and from Tyler she learns about family, fun and love. I like the way they complement one another - it may seem obvious that Rory can make Tyler into a better person, but what's better is what Tyler does for Rory - his honour and integrity have a big impact on her, and he teaches her how to let herself out, to flirt and be someone other than the honour student.
There are some great bits of dialogue between Rory and Tyler. They're two people who have really clicked as friends, as well as something more, and this comes across really well in the book. Rory is a virgin when they meet, and that defines the start of their relationship - to start with Tyler is just a lay - a guy she finds hot and trusts enough to lose her virginity to. What she doesn't bargain for are his feelings getting involved. She tries to keep her distance from him, but she's fighting a losing battle.
I really liked Tyler's family. It's an echo of Travis' family in BD, but Tyler's brothers are younger and need looking after. Their mum is an addict, and it's down to Tyler and his older brother Riley to make sure the kids get taken care of. The way Tyler is with his family is one of the things that endears him to Rory the most - I guess no girl can resist a hot guy with strong paternal instincts.
True is a fun read, with enough emotion and action to keep you glued without the intensity that can make reading a book a love/hate experience. I will definitely be looking up Erin McCarthy's other books - it's great to find a new author who's work I enjoy.