Author: Amanda Grace
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Flux (September 8, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!
Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.
Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured—and missed out on—in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.
There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen—because she hasn't told him the truth.
The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet—both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.
My Thoughts and Review:
I absolutely love the way the author presented Madelyn and Bennett's story, through a letter written by Madelyn to Bennett. It was brilliantly done.
I couldn't help but feel for Bennett right from the beginning. Not because I thought he was a victim, although in a strange way he was, but because I already knew what the repercussions were going to be for him after being with Madelyn in any capacity, innocent or otherwise. And I couldn't help but feel for him since he didn't know, didn't have, all the facts before he made the decisions he did and before he did the things he did. You could tell he was a great guy and never did anything lightly when it came to his and her relationship. I had to love him for that if not for anything else.
I liked Madelyn too even if she was somewhat deceptive and devious. Yes, she knew her age was an issue and she needed to tell Bennett but at the same time, it really did start out innocent and harmless. I was so torn or whether I felt bad for Madelyn or not. On whether if in some small way she too was a victim. Not from Bennett, no, but from the circumstances of her childhood and the pressures that were placed on her by those around her. Are her parents to blame for what happened? Would this have happened anyways because they were destined to fall in love? Would they have met later on in life? Who knows really. Fate is a funny fickle thing that way. The whatifs could kill you.
I really did love this story, if I am being truthful here, I loved it way more than I thought I would.
It was realistic, it was gritty, it was (at times) romantic and it didn't have an easy way out. The ending wasn't all rainbows and sunshine and even though it left me feeling extremely sad, I loved it for that reason. It was real and it was raw and so very well done.
And while the ending was a sad one, it was also an ending with closure, even without the sunshine and hearts I normally prefer in a story. The author has once again proved to me that she knows what she is doing.
*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*
I have seen this book around but haven't read it yet. It sounds like a great read and the way it's written seems amazing. I'm glad you enjoyed. Great review :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Tanya! :)ReplyDelete
Hmmmm. I'm not sure about this one Ali! You know I'm an HEA girl through and through so the ending of this one has me worried even if it fits the story perfectly. I feel like I'll have to work my way up to this book, but I understand how with this setup things are unlikely to be all sunshine and roses at the end like you said. Lovely review!ReplyDelete
Yeah I was sad there was a complete HEA but it was fitting and it did work. A little sad though.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this one too even with the sad ending. The letter format was just great and it was sad and romantic and emotional and everything at once. I really didn't know how to feel for either character. I understood both their feelings and I think both were definitely at fault in different ways. I know Bennet didn't expect her to be quite so young but he did know she was almost that young so it shouldn't have been such a huge deal. I also think Madelyn was young and fragile and really really loved him. Then Bennett just disappeared without even talking to her and clearing things up. He should have said he cared about her but didn't think it was right with her being so young but that he forgave her and that he should have asked her her age. But he just disappeared and left her with all that guilt and too much I think. Clearly I was captivated and really into it!ReplyDelete
I don't mind a sad ending as long as it is realistic. I love the idea of a letter format. I have this one for review and I am looking forward to it. So happy to hear it is a good read. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog all week, Ali, while I was on a mini vacation. I really appreciate it! I am digging out this morning :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I have a few of her books but haven't read them yet, which is ridiculous. I really love this cover!ReplyDelete
I know what you mean Jennifer! It was good, sad ending and all. ;)ReplyDelete
Heidi of course!! Silly, I wouldn't abandon you just because you got busy. Love you!! ;)ReplyDelete
Candace, I know what you mean, I have a couple of her other books as well (under Mandy Hubbard) and always love them but end up putting them on the back burner all the time too. :(ReplyDelete
Great review and a an awesome blog.Following back!Thankyou for dropping by my blog.!ReplyDelete
Thank you Hassan for your kind words!!ReplyDelete
This is another one of those books I wasn't sure about. I am so glad to read your review. I'll be adding it to my list now.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear that Ellen!ReplyDelete
I was curious about this one, and I'm really happy to see your review is so positive. I don't mind a realistic sad ending if the journey is interesting and riveting. It sounds like I'm going to be emotionally conflicted on who I sympathize with more, because I feel like each of these characters are going to make me feel sorry for them in their own ways. Beautiful review!ReplyDelete