Booked In With Jess: 17

Last year R S Grey released her novel With This Heart which has since picked up a stock of five star reviews on Amazon. This persuaded me to use my Kindle Unlimited 30 day free trial on the novel and see what R S Grey had to offer the young adult genre.

Amazon warned me With This Heart was aimed at those aged 17 and above due to some sexual content and I can’t remember ever before reading a book with an age rating, so this intrigued me. How in-your-face could it be for a teen novel? Also, why would a young adult novel be excluded from young teens?

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I decided to settle on the conclusion that the cover, title and blurb must be misleading – it must be a chick lit. Three hours later I finished reading it. As a light, easy read, this book is brilliant. However, if you’re looking for something deeper and more memorable I wouldn’t recommend it – there are far more moving stories of the same genre.

The plot follows Abby who is recovering from a heart transplant. She decides to go on a road trip to spread some ashes (which are top secret) and before she leaves a stranger approaches her in an urn shop. His name is Beck and he wants to join her on the road trip – which seems a bit random to Abby until she shrugs it off simply because he’s hot.

The name Beck made me cringe every single time I read it which spoiled his character for me. If only he didn’t have such a pretentious name like Beckham maybe I could have found myself swooning a little bit which would have added value.

Another aspect that bothered me was how Abby was such a strong female character when in situations with family and friends, yet around the male characters she was utterly pathetic. Her only weapon was her wit but she seemed to lose all self-control. This was particularly evident in the romantic-verging-on-sexual chapters, where Beck would push things along and Abby simply wouldn’t say no. Admittedly, in Abby’s thought process she claimed to be “ready”, however she really didn’t seem to be.

The chapter in which Abby and Beck go to visit the family of the boy who donated his heart upon death was a disappointment. When the novel began to twist in that direction I was excited because it was a fantastic opportunity for emotions to go flying in every direction. Spoiler alert, when it turned out not to be Colby’s family (they had moved) Abby just gave up and left instead of searching them out. The chapter was dull and left me questioning what Abby’s motives where for visiting in the first place if she would drop it so easily. To me, visiting the dead boy’s family didn’t seem to be a decision made lightly, even though it was passed up so.

Negatives aside, this would be a nice book to read on holiday or when you’re too busy to concentrate on a ‘heavy’ novel.

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