Friday, May 30, 2014

The Recruit by Fiona Palmer ~ Review

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.

Jasmine 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 major butt.

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 dreamed of?

My Thoughts:


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.


  1. You are right- the cover does scream NA and the blurb does shout out YA. I hate when a book can't decided what it wants to be. As a high school teacher, I also hate when the teens do not act like teens.

  2. I'm sorry that this didn't turn out like you expected. I feel very disappointed when I find books like that.

  3. Hmmm...I feel this wouldn't work for me either. And I would likely agree on the issues that bugged you. Nice review!

  4. I hate when a book is confusing! Sorry you didn't like it as much as you thouoght you would. Great review!

  5. Well darn, I had high hopes for this one to. The synopsis sounded so good. Thanks for the great informative review.