Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: More Than This ...

Book Description:

When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.

Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.

My Review:  Here's the thing about reading a book ~ the author, sometimes, gets right into the heart and head of a character(s) and write with such conviction, it's hard to distinguish that it's just ficton and not an autobiography.  While More Than This wasn't my favorite book to read, one thing resonated with me as I plowed through this book at rapid pace:  Jay McLean can write.

The story takes place in a high school setting with Mikayla, a high school girl, and the events that unfold towards the end of her senior year in school.  Having a daughter exactly her age, this book jumped out at me but let me just say, that's exactly where the similiarities stopped and my review of this as literally work begins.  Mikayla, also known as Kayla to those closest to her, appears to be a typical high school girl by most standards - steady boyfriend, great circle of friends, loving family and focused on life after high school - college, work, career.  She has a best friend, Megan, who sleeps around including with Mikayla's boyfriend, and she catches them together as they are leaving for Prom.  Naturally, she is in tears and destroyed and Prom is ruined.  Enter Jake, an all around nice guy, who happens to be at the same diner as Kayla when this goes down and they end up going to his Prom instead.  What happens next is incredibly sad, a turn of events no child should ever have to encounter and that's the death of Mikayla's entire family in a house fire.  She's left alone with no where to go and grieve, and she's taken in temporarily by Jake and his family, whom she just met!
Their relationship blossoms and he's a caring and falling for Kayla at the same time as trying to juggle school and a baseball scholarship.   The story is captivating - you want to know, does Kayla make it to college?  Does she inherit anything?  How at 18 does a young girl survive in the world?

This book appears to be very real to 'real life' teens and aside from the catalyst of Kayla's incredible losses.  What bothered me mostly was the subject matter being very STRONG in sexual tones and
the bad language.  While I feel the writing style is good, it seemed a little over the top in the language and explicitly.  I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone attempting to 'shield' their children from the descriptions of teenage drinking, parties, sleeping around, loss and betrayal.  If you are okay with all of that, then this book is a page turner and I flew through it at record pace to see how it ended!

Special thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review ~ any opinions expressed are purely my own and I was not compensated in any way other than receipt of the book.

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