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Monday, 6 February 2012

Review: Cross My Heart - Katie Klein

Author: Katie Klein
Release Date: March 15th 2011

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie.

You're reading the summary right now, and thinking this plot isn't special? Good girl meets bad boy. Good girl starts falling in love.  Everyone hates bad boy for his reputation. Yeah yeah, we know what happens. Think Cross My Heart will be just like any other YA contemporary romance girl-meets-boy story? Well. You are SO wrong. Cross My Heart is a fantastic, coming-of-age story with relatable characters and a super smart plot twist that I definitely did not see coming.

First. Let's talk about characters. I could totally relate to Jaden. She's very focused, perfectionist and is "safe and boring". She doesn't do stuff that would make her parents shake their heads at her, or her brothers scolding her. She's got big dreams for the future. And she's perfect - got perfect grades, perfect friends, even the perfect boyfriend. She was clearly contented with her life. Until. She got paired with Parker Whalen for a school English project. Let me say that I really like Jaden, and her interactions with her family, especially with her two slightly older brothers, are spot on. Her problems and emotions were real, and as you read, you can see that she's got many insecurities and flaws that make her the perfect female lead character.

Parker Whalen was exactly what every other YA angsty boy acts like. He is mysterious, smart and secretive. I really don't want to say this but he was just okay. I was expecting a bit more - more of him, more of their chemistry, more of sexual tension. And I did feel like their romance was a little bit rushed, which as you know, is a MAJOR book pet peeve of mine. Argh. Anyway, moving on.

Can we talk about THAT plot twist? Nuh uh. Totally not expecting that AT ALL. I did know that there was going to be this 'massive' plot twist and my brain was busy guessing (wrong) stuff. And never in a million years, I would have thought about that. It's not amazing or anything, just unpredictable. The more I think about it, the more it actually makes sense. And now I'm wondering why I never thought of that. 

Overall, if you enjoy reading contemporary romance, then I would recommend Cross My Heart.


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