Series: The Outsider Chronicles #2
Publisher: Self Published on September 9, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
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When Liv Bennett said good-bye to her sinkhole of a hometown, she planned to leave that chapter of her life behind forever. But forever turned out to only be three years.
After her addict of a mother up and disappears, Liv returns to what she considers her own personal hell smack in the middle of nowhere Nevada to take care of her two younger sisters, and she promptly reinstitutes the golden rule that got her through her first nineteen years of life without getting knocked up, roughed up, or messed up: don’t date the local boys and, god forbid, don’t fall in love with one of them.
It isn’t long before that golden rule is put to the test.
Will Goods grew up in the next trailer over, but the wild, careless boy who used to tear up the town with his three brothers has morphed into someone else so completely, he’s almost unrecognizable. The quiet, contemplative man who works on cars every night and takes care of his mentally ill mother every day is nothing like the local boys Liv grew up avoiding.
But when Liv considers suspending her golden rule just this once, she finds out something about Will that will change everything.
Will Goods isn’t who he used to be—he’s not even the man Liv thinks she’s gotten to know over the summer. He’s become someone else entirely.
He’s become . . .
Check out my review of Hard Knox (The Outsider Chronicles #1)
I adored the companion novel, Hard Knox, and I was interested to see what else Nicole Williams had to bring to the table.
Damaged Goods follows Liv Bennett as she drops everything in order to take care of the two younger sisters that her druggie mother abandons. It was okay, plot wise. There was definitely a plot twist that completely blindsided me in a good way. I had absolutely no idea that it was coming and I gaped at the book for a good five minutes when it happened. In terms of plot and pacing, the novel was pretty engaging. It wasn’t as action-heavy as Hard Knox. It was more an emotional journey for the characters than an action-y one. Nevertheless, it kept me engaged from beginning to end.
Liv Bennett dropped everything in order to be there for her sisters. She was a selfless character who would do anything for her little sisters, as evidenced in the story. She was a bit hardened and closed off due to the environment in which she grew up. She wanted nothing more than to escape the town that she grew up in yet came back to it for her sisters. So she was a bit bitter to the town upon arrival, including pretty much every one in it, especially the Goods boys next door. I enjoyed Liv’s character. I thought that she was determined, snarky, and just overall relatable.
Will Goods was the Goods boy left at home after taking leave from the military in order to take care of his mentally ill mother. Will was one of those book boys that you can’t help but love. He was kind, sweet, funny, and just overall what you look for in a book boyfriend. He had a past, though, that was interesting to uncover as the novel wore on. He was a great character, one with layers, to get to know as the book wore on.
The romance in this novel was interesting. Liv is leading a double life so the romance that develops appears to have two facets. That was definitely something that made the book stand out. The romance was done very well, especially considering the complexity of the double-life situation. I felt like Liv and Will worked very well together. He was pretty calm and stoic and she was a spitfire. They balanced each other well and their chemistry was definitely prominent.
Overall, Damaged Goods was a great contemporary read that actually helped to get me out of the reading slump that started recently with me beginning college. Another great story from Nicole Williams!