Source: Received eBook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
From one of
Australia’s Queens of Romance comes the debut in a brand new YA series
about secrets, strengths, and what lies beneath the surface.
Thomas may not be completely normal, but she’s a pretty typical
seventeen-year-old girl. She hates the rich mean kids, loves her best
friends, and can’t wait to get out of school each day. Her spare time is
spent at The Ring — a boxing gym where she practically grew up —
learning karate, boxing and street fighting. So, yeah, Jaz can kick some
Life seems pretty normal until the day Ryan Fletcher
enters her gym…mysterious and hot with heaps of bad boy charm. Sure,
she checks him out. Who wouldn’t? But what doesn’t show on his gorgeous
abs are secrets and lies that dominate his very grown-up world. Now Jaz
has to figure out just how far she is willing to go to know more. Could
Ryan really be offering the life-fulfilling life path she’s always
3 stars - I expected to like this one more
This book gave me a lot of mixed messages. The cover, to me, screams adult book. The blurb says YA. The story had me confused between middle grade and adult. Why? I'll tell ya.
The book is set in Australia and I will admit to cultural differences. Not so much that I didn't get things, just enough to give me pause a few times. It might explain my biggest issue with the book. I'm not sure what high school students are like at a private school in Australia but I do know what high school students from a public school are like in the US. And this isn't like it. The relationships screamed middle grade to me. Yet at the same time, Jaz is dealing with adult issues. I was just really confused and uncomfortable with it.
Jaz is a strong girl that kicks behinds and asks questions later. She brings the hurt. She's very drawn to weapons and fighting. She's also in love with her best friend, though he's oblivious. She's also involved with "running" the ring (a gym) while the owner is out of town. I found this strange. She's been working there since she was 10. It felt too convenient as a plot element. When Ryan shows up at the ring, he gains her attention with his muscles and good looks. He's in his mid twenties, which didn't go with her age of 17. Their connection made the book feel like NA. It was very confusing.
I really liked Taylor and Anna despite their flatness. There was a lot of potential with them that I don't think every was realized.
I guess that's how I felt about the whole thing. There was potential there. I liked the premise, though I think it should have been NA through and through. But the whole thing just didn't satisfy me. I found myself longing for it to be over and not in a good way. I just wanted more.
I'm not sure who would enjoy this book. Perhaps a YA would enjoy it.
About the author:
I was raised in Pingaring. My Dad and Mum are contractors in town who cart grain, spread fertiliser and spray for the farmers.
The majority of my childhood weekends were spent on my Uncle and
Aunty’s farm ‘Gumlea’ with my two cousins Tammy and Sandy, and my
younger brother Chad.
We attended the Pingaring Primary School which closed its doors a few
years later because of small numbers. I went off to Narrogin High
School where I boarded at the Narrogin Residential College. I left
school after year eleven, itching to start work and begin my life.
I was a third generation speedway driver, racing cars from the age of 16 right up until I was pregnant with my first child.
After doing odd jobs, rouseabouting, tractor driving and working on
the CBH bins, where I met my husband-to-be, I went to Alexander College
for a secretarial course. (Luckily they taught me how to type really
fast, which comes in handy when typing up long stories)
I got a job at the Shire of Lake Grace as a secretary for three years
and then changed to a Teachers Assistant before getting married to my
husband Darryl and having my daughter Mackenzie and my son, Blake.
It was while running the local shop in Pingaring in 2006, in a
partnership with my Mum, that I began writing down a story that was
roaming around in my head. Lo and behold, this was the start of my
writing career. The Family Farm is my first book followed by Heart of
Gold, 2011 and The Road Home 2012.