Jacqueline follows her high school boyfriend to college. Then he dumps her at the beginning of sophomore year, and she’s not sure what she’ll do next. When she’s assaulted by her ex’s frat brother, her rescue comes in the form of a stranger who saves her and drives her home. All Jacqueline wants is to forget about the attack, but her savior Lucas sits behind her in one of her classes and doesn’t seem to be making it easy for her to move on. It doesn’t help that Lucas is seriously hot and her would-be attacker seems to be almost stalking her. Sophomore year ends up being more than Jacqueline ever could have imagined.
Gentle readers, I’m not sure about this one. I’ve been sitting on this review for a long time, trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want to say, and I’m still unsure of how I want to review it. While it’s certainly an enjoyable book and isn’t lacking in the heaps of praise department, something about this didn’t sit right with me from the beginning.
Using an attempted sexual assault as a meet-cute for our heroine and hero feels manipulative and wrong. It’s possible that not every reader will view the inciting event in this way, but I couldn’t get past the feeling that Webber was pulling every string at her disposal to make the plot work. Although the novel had some good things to offer and Webber certainly creates a compelling story with well-developed main characters, I couldn’t get past the uneasy feeling that followed me throughout.
There’s also the issue that the book is in serious need of editing and trimming down. There was no reason for Webber to include some of the book’s elements, particularly in the case of the mistaken identity subplot. And while Webber does indeed write some steamy scenes, there’s also so much waffling on the part of both main characters that the novel feels much longer than it should. Some of this could have been tightened with the help of a strong editor.
That being said, this book has found an audience and will continue to do so. The fact that it’s a self-published book that got a major-publisher pickup and features older YA characters sets it apart from other titles in the genre. There’s certainly stuff to like here; I just wanted it to be better and not make me quite so uncomfortable.
Easy by Tammara Webber. Create Space: 2012. Electronic copy. Read for 2012 Cybils Round 1 Panel.