A sequel book I wasn't expecting to find.
Author: Lizzy Charles
Title: Perfectly Messy
Release date: 27th of May 2014
Series: Effortless With You #2
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Swoon Romance
Pages: 225 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.
But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.
The first book of the series was one of those special books last year that was subtle, sweet, emotional and made an impact on me, even though, I would have never expected it to and am quite confused even now as to why it touched me to that degree. At first glance, it’s was a simple and even somewhat of a typical book in the genre, but I thought it was a beyond lovely and as soon as I accidentally saw that it had a sequel, I was already digging in.
I was anticipating to see Lucy and Justin finally together in a relationship, but I didn’t predict their time to be so incredibly full of obstacles and issues. It was crazy for Justin, he was being pulled in every imaginable direction and the poor guy was wearing thin and no one really seemed to realize it. While I adored Lucy for being understanding and patient, I don’t think she grasped what he was really forced to endure. Not saying that she didn’t have a hard time as well. Also, I didn’t like that some problems were quite unreasonable and straight out cliché dumb. Please, let’s stop with the Photoshop and compromising photo hassle, I’ve encounter this in more books than I’d like to and it’s getting somewhat repetitive, but mostly, I think it’s a nasty plot device. Overall, I really liked to see how they juggled each other, friends, hobbies, studies, family, especially since all the issues were portrayed quite realistically and I’m glad not everything worked out, because it’s not always meant to in actual life. It was interesting to observe how the problems affected and made the couple act. I loved that it wasn’t smooth sailing for them and there was more than enough to overcome till the light was visible at the end of the tunnel.
What I didn’t like was the last major conflict between Justin and Lucy, which was simply ridiculous compared to what they had already been able to tolerate to that point. I didn’t like it at all, it was a stupid decision and while I vaguely saw the benefits I wasn’t fond of such stalling before the end. It was really out of place and didn’t go with the characters I had come to know till that point.
While the first book focused heavily on Lucy and her family issues and the romance was on the sidelines. I liked that this book was more about the relationship of her and Justin, but most of all, I appreciated how it now dealt with the problems of both of them, which they had to face separately or together. The viewpoint being switched from him to her was also helpful in seeing both sides of the story.
Lucy – I really liked her, she was a down-to-earth and sensible girl, who tried to be reasonable and nice, and mostly succeeded. Her reaction and attitude in the final conflict, however, lost several points in me liking her and I don’t think it was her fault, so I’m still fond of her and find her a cool girl.
Justin – Poor guy, he was a mess in this compared to the calm and collected we got to know in the first book. But this just proves to never judge a book by its cover, you never know what’s actually going on inside.
A sweet follow-up to a very sweet first book. I liked how the characters and the story itself had developed and this really felt like a sequel and not the same book with some alterations (am I the only one who feels like many New Adult series are like that after the first book?). So again, I recommend this and the first book strongly and confidently. Also, will there be a book number 3? I don’t know, but I do know that I will definitely pick it up if it comes my way.