It's been a long time again since my last review :)
Author: Sarah Alderson
Title: Out of Control
Release date: 22nd of May 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, Action, YA
Published by: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 321 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
Liva has moved to New York to start a new life. But when gunmen storm into the house in the middle of the night and kill everyone apart from her, that new life seems to swiftly become a living nightmare. Soon Liva is on the run, and bad boy Jay seems to be the only person she can trust. Only Jay and Liva don't know who they're running from. All they know is that whoever it is, they want Liva dead…or worse…
I was expecting pure action, tension, close-call situations and some rushed and seize-the-moment kisses from this book and I'm happy to realize that I got everything I was hoping for in bigger or smaller dosages.
In a sense this is a really linear book with the characters starting from A and trying to get to B, and the time-frame it takes place in falls somewhere a bit over 24 hours. Quite a compact story. You have two people meeting at the police station for different reasons, one being a witness and the other being caught for a crime, and after the station is subject to an assault that kills most of the people there, our couple is on the run with diverse people with various motives after them, the former not knowing what is going on or who to trust.
The emphasis in the story was definitely on action, twists and the relationship that develops between Jay and Liva. The reader is almost immediately thrown in the midst of action and the pace doesn't let off till the end. Despite it being around one day that they spend on the run, for them and for the reader, it feels much longer and thus the feelings and trust that is quite slow to form when reading, but too quick when looking from the outside in, still comes across genuine and a natural progress between two people with chemistry. Thus, it wasn't entirely like the dreaded insta-love. Besides, their swoony kissing scenes were more like the two letting out steam using each other than expressing overwhelming love or something like that. I was, however, quite annoyed with Liva when some twists come to light regarding Jay, it was immature and absolutely illogical to act like that towards him after everything they'd been through.
It did feel somewhat unlikely and unrealistic that basically children would be forced into such a situation and, what's more, survive and even kick butt against all the opposing forces, but I'm willing to shut one eye simply because, the story was gripping and didn't really provide enough time to doubt the plausibility of what was going on. In addition, while I did have a hunch, it was exciting to find out with the main couple the real reason behind the big mess, killings and chase. Also, the author writes engaging action scenes, which don't feel like dull, fill-in-the-blanks or confusing description brick-wall texts.
I wasn't overly fond of Olivia, she came across too cold, clinical and jaded. She really wasn't a warm and fuzzy person to genuinely root for. I liked here as the heroine and she fit the plot and the complicated situation she found herself in, but her attitude, prejudices, no-one-understands-me stance wasn't something I enjoyed. Plus, she was quite superficial regarding Jay. I did, however, like the teamwork between the two, they worked well together.
I would most definitely be creeped out to be on the run with someone I met in the murder department, especially going by the extreme train of thought Livia had regarding him before all hell broke loose. Obviously, he wasn't as bad and criminally immoral as firstly presented and thought by Livia, on the contrary, he turned out to be quite sweet, noble and nice-guy-like.
This more action and thrill-oriented story was a nice change to the cute pure romances I've read lately. Plus, it's always a pleasure to read a stand-alone book, there are just so little of those around lately.