Something that just came out :)
Author: Shelly Crane
Title: Smash Into You
Release date: 13th of August 2013
Reading level: FICTION –JUVENILE: Contemporary
Pages: 324 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from the Amazon.com for Kindle
Jude has spent the whole twenty one years of his life running. From what, he wasn't quite sure. His mother tried to keep him safe; a low profile, a constant move on the horizon, a week's pay always stashed away. She tried to instill in him that he was special somehow, though would never elaborate. He never felt different. He was so completely normal and vanilla that he wondered if it had all been in her head. But then she was murdered and all he saw was a running silhouette of a man as his mother said three final words to him. Three words that changed his whole being.
Never stop running…
Now he's semi-settled into a big town. The college is huge and easy to blend into. It's been three months since he had to move because 'Biloxi', as he calls the man who killed his mother, found him once more.
Then Marley, an eighteen year old girl who is as infuriating as she is blissfully ignorant of her gorgeousness, smashes into his car with hers. Then smashes into his life as he realizes that whatever it is he has that Biloxi wants, she has it, too. And now, they're after them both.
Hmmm… I have mixed feelings for this story.
This book read like two different stories with diverse genres and pace. And while the first part of it I enjoyed quite a lot, the second half made a 180 degree turn and for some reason didn’t really appeal to me. The change came across abrupt (even though the question of motive of the followers was constantly in the background) and out of place. The epilogue, however, again continued with the same feel and pace as the first part of the book, thus it was pleasant to read again. In addition, this story managed to create a great ending with more than one cherry on top, which I liked a lot and which was hard to forget, in a good way.
First half of the book:
The character centric take of the plot and the constant development of Jude and Marley’s growing relationship was slow, sweet and enjoyable. It wasn’t love at first sight, but there was definitely attraction – believable attraction. Even after they were forced together, it still took a while till they became close, trusted each other and actually became a couple. It was a rewarding slow burn and the outcome was just to my liking.
I also liked the mystery element in general, it was always there as a threat in the background to keep the excitement alive next to the couple getting to know each other. It all worked well with both aspects complimenting the other, till we were provided the answers and that’s where I wasn’t entirely happy anymore.
The second half of the book:
While the first part, as mentioned, was like a character driven road trip with emphasis on the development of feelings between Jude and Marley, the second part took a nosedive for me. I can’t fully explain what I was expecting, but what come out simply rubbed me the wrong way and the explanations and plot from there on didn’t go with the general flow and mood of the book I enjoyed quite a bit till then. Also, the steps they took to get answers regarding the followers and the way they were able to discover the info was ridiculously simple and, thus, I couldn’t take it seriously. Why didn’t they do it before? Is info really that easily accessible by random people? How do two people get to where they did with such security, etc? I was very eager and curious to know what the reason they were hunted for was, but, yes, while quite original I just didn’t like the turn it took.
The book in percentages: 1-65% - Great!; 66-90% - Am I reading the same book? Odd in several ways; 91-100% - super sweet, love the closure and loveliness of the couple! Awww.
I liked Jude and the fact that he wasn’t a completely nice guy, that with his lifestyle of constant hiding and staying under the radar, he kept everything as short and superficial was possible (friends, girls, jobs, etc), it was believable, plus, it made his connecting to Marley a lot more significant. He wasn’t a smiley, gentleman-ly, positive or flirty hottie, he was a jaded, constantly-looking-over-his-shoulder, never-get-attached-to-anyone miserable (yet sexy) product of having to hide all his life from something he had no idea about.
Marley was vulnerable and sensitive yet self-sufficient, goal orientated and tough, she didn’t let Jude or anyone else walk over her. She had the right balance of sweetness and spine. Honestly, there wasn’t anything significant that would make me dislike her, she was all-round likable.
As already said, the first part was a very good read, but the second didn’t fare well by me. I guess it’s a matter of taste, but since I liked over half of the book, then I still recommend to try it out.