Author: Tammara Webber
Release Date: May 25, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Berkley
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a break up two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy. --Goodreads
Wow. Just wow. Dear Tammara Webber, I am so sorry that I let this book sit on my TBR list for nearly five years. This is such a beautiful, poignant, empowering love story.
I wasn't sure I'd ever find a better book boyfriend than Cade from Faking It by Cora Carmack, but I just hadn't met Lucas yet. Oh my my my. You have to understand that with me you've got an early 2000s Warped Tour girl here, so when I'm given a smart, caring, artistic, straight up heroic guy with shaggy dark hair, light eyes, tattoos and a lip ring who rides a motorcycle...I'm sorry I seem to have forgotten my own name. Seriously. If you read this book and Lucas doesn't turn you into a pile of goo...well keep searching for a book boyfriend who does, but Lucas. Sigh.
Jacqueline was just so real. I know that's a cliche way to describe a character, but she so easily could have been me or one of my friends in college. She's sweet and kind with a good head on her shoulders, and though she sees Lucas as her savior, she's no damsel in distress. She fights. She stands up for herself when it would have been so much easier to give up and let her attacker win. I love love love seeing kickass women in NA/YA who are their own superhero.
The way sexual assault on a college campus is addressed and handled in this story is so accurate that you will get mad and angry and feel sick right along with Jacqueline and her friends. Rape culture is such a hot button issue for me personally and if you're reading this, I am so sorry. I am so sorry that that happened to you, but I pray that you have a Lucas or a best friend like Erin in your life to tell you that it's not your fault. It doesn't matter how you were dressed or if you were a virgin or not. It doesn't matter if you had been drinking all night or dancing with everyone at a party. There is a clever hand gesture with one finger for anyone who discourages you from filing a report against your attacker because of "what it will cost him for one night of fun." Bull. It was not fun for you to feel helpless, to be violated and touched against your will, to not have someone stop at "No!" You as the victim matter, not your cowardly attacker. You matter and it is not your fault. Period.
This story hits love, tragedy, and everything that can fall apart and be put back together into something extraordinary. Tammara Webber is so gifted in how she paints with words and these characters...gah!
Rating: 5 Stars. Breathtaking, funny, heartbreaking, swoon worthy, and powerful. Grab this book like yesterday!
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