Originally posted on The Filipina Booknote
Withdrawn, traumatized, ruined. Those were the words I thought of when I first met Ivy in this Beth Hyland book. In fact the first thing she was doing on the first chapter of the book was escaping a house full of people. I thought she was the usual girl protagonist carrying a lot of baggage about her life growing up, but she was different. An accident ruined her and her family and moving to to a new school far from home was her only way to have a new life. Who would have thought escaping through the roof of a house could change everything in her life? Because while she was busy thinking of ways to go down, Jon Priestly, a man with a box full of surprises comes to her rescue. Jon, a campus dj taking up Applied Chemistry, is all kinds of hot. Imagine a muscular tall man who loves indie music and is surprisingly intelligent and aspires to become a doctor some day all rolled up. Brains and hotness in one is Jon Priestly. But apart from his seemingly perfect façade as a campus hottie, he has a past that he wishes was never a part of him.
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary. – Oscar Wilde”
Their first meeting wasn’t really what you would have thought was a love story in the making. Ivy was showing her bitchy and was trying to mask her self to keep a away from the likes of Jon. Jon on the other hand wasn’t able to hide his “jerk-y” side when he was caught staring on Ivy’s chest. I can tell it wasn’t a case of insta-love or insta-lust, rather it was more of strong attraction between them. I liked their relationship because they did do their share of knowing bits of each other first before hooking up. I’d have to give credits to Jon for being a gentleman and not pushing for sex and having control over his hunger for Ivy.
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple. – Oscar Wilde”
I usually fall in love with the guy whenever I read contemporary books, but this I time I want to meet Ivy and offer her a big hug of comfort. I can never relate to whatever happened to her but I can feel her emotions and being cautious through the pages of this book. Even if she was totally crushing on Jon, she didn’t put down her walls immediately and she took her time to see if the guy he was crushing on deserved his trust. I can say that Ivy portrayed a very strong female character despite her traumas and fears and this was a refreshing take on a contemporary novel. Hyland did a very good job in expressing what the characters were going through especially with Ivy. It was like she also wrote this book to address the issue of bullying which is a very important topic in today’s world. Although I liked Ivy’s character, I didn’t really fell for Jon’s wounds of the past. I was thinking he would have more “big” issues that might affect their relationship, when in fact his ego was his big problem. If not for his consideration and thoughtfulness for Ivy I wouldn’t even take a second look at him.
Overall, this was a good read and I enjoyed it. It was like experiencing the world of the traumatized person through Ivy’s words. I also liked that it had a lot of book reference, but wished that it had a soundtrack or playlist too. I was assuming it would have one since Jon was a radio dj and there were some songs mentioned. It would be more enjoyable reading the book while listening to the song the characters were enjoying too. Well aside from those, contemporary romance junkies are sure to love this book too.