Series: Jade #1
Publisher: Self Published on September 23, 2013
Reading Challenges: 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, 2014 Rewind Challenge
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When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.
Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.
As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.
“Over the tears, I’ve learned that people really don’t like the truth. The truth is ugly and painful. It’s uncomfortable. It makes you question things. It creates uncertainty. People don’t want that. They want to hear a version of the truth that meets the expectations they’ve already conjured up in their own head.”
“‘Trusting is just a nicer word for stupid or naïve. And I’m neither one of those things.’”
I’ve always had my eye on this novel, so when I got the blog tour invite, I couldn’t help but sign up!
Choosing You follows a girl named Jade who has just been accepted to a prestigious university on a full scholarship provided by the Kensington family. But Jade believes that all of the students that attend will be the same—shallow jerks who will shun her for not being rich enough. So Jade instead decides to shun her. But Garret just so happens to walk past her on her move in day and helps her and her semi-brother, Ryan, move her in. After that, Garret is intrigued and starts trying to be Jade’s friend. And the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. But Jade starts getting threatening phone calls and Garret is hiding a secret from her, and these two things could be the end of whatever they have going on.
This novel was one of the more interesting contemporary new adult titles that I’ve read. What made this novel amazing was its definable plot. More times than not, new adult contemporaries tend to revolve around a growing romance. Sure, their relationship was a focus in this novel, but there was also a larger, more interesting plot that the romance supplemented. I can’t say much about the plot itself, but there were a lot of mystery and suspense factors in this novel, which I haven’t seen a lot in the NA contemporary romance genre. It was an interesting mix of things that made it so I didn’t want to put it down.
“‘You think you can beat me, huh?’ He stretches as well. ‘So what’s with the insults? You don’t like swimmers?’ I shrug. ‘Swimmers are okay. I just don’t think they have to work that hard. I mean, the water makes you basically weightless. It’s easy to go fast when you don’ have to drag your body weight around. You don’t get that benefit with running.’ His jaw basically drops to the ground. I’ve just insulted both him and something that’s near and dear to his heart. Apparently this has never happened to him before. Pretty boy must be used to only getting compliments.”
Jade was our leading lady and I absolutely adored her. One word that comes to mind when I think of her is independent. She didn’t like others doing things for her. In addition to that, she was tough, guarded, and didn’t just submit to anyone’s wishes. The only thing about her that bothered me a little was how negative she was, but it was realistic due to her circumstances that we learn in this novel. I liked that she didn’t just give in to the feelings that she was developing for Garret, and she didn’t take anyone’s crap. She was determined and just overall a great character in my opinion. I can’t wait to see more of her as the novel progresses.
“‘I don’t know what you do to me, but whatever it is, I guess it shows on my face because everyone knows how I feel about you. Not just Ava.’ ‘Is my face showing anything?’ I turn it right and left. He holds it straight again, his hand cupping my chin. ‘No, because you’re not into me yet. I haven’t won you over. But I’m working on it.’”
Garret was actually a better character than I was expecting. In most of the NA contemporaries that I’ve read (excluding ones like Jessica Sorensen novels), the girl has the past and the guy helps them out of it. In this case, the girl has the unknown past and the guy has certain conditions and standards that they’re held to. I actually love those novels when the rich guy/girl falls for the poor guy/girl, because it almost always creates interesting conflict. I loved Garret because he fought for what he wanted. He was determined to win her over despite what others thought. On top of that, he also had his layers in his character. He wasn’t just the perfect guy upstairs, no—he had his own problems to deal with, which made him more realistic of a character.
“He smiles and comes up right in front of me, so close we’re almost touching. ‘You know what, Jade?’ ‘What?’ Having him this close to me makes my heart pump even faster than when I was running. ‘I like you, I really like you.’ I don’t respond because I’m not sure what to say. It makes no sense for him to like me. I do nothing but insult the guy. ‘That said, I still think you’re rude and sarcastic and extremely difficult to please.’ ‘Aww.’ I tilt my head to the side, smiling. ‘That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me. Just for that, I’ll run back with you at your barely-moving pace.’”
The relationship between Jade and Garret is barely budding in this first novel. It’s more of a game of cat and mouse, to be honest. They both have feelings for each other, of course, and you can feel the tension, but Jade doesn’t want to get involved whereas Garret definitely does. And so Jade tries (and usually fails) to resist Garret’s advances. It was very entertaining, actually. So of course, I’m interested to see how their relationship develops in the next novel, especially with forces like Garret’s dad trying to keep them apart.
Another character that I’d just briefly like to mention was Harper, who becomes Jade’s best female friend. She was a nice and bubbly character, and I think she will do Jade well over the course of the series.
Choosing You was better than I was hoping and expecting. It blew me away with its amazing plot and suspenseful events. It’s one that any NA reader would love, so you should definitely give it a shot!