How do you recover once you’ve lost it all?
Mikayla Jones was supposed to be having the night of her life at her high school prom. Instead, her world is shattered in two swift blows, leaving her abandoned and isolated. Jake Andrews meets Mikayla just as the world collapses around her and despite his own responsibilities, vows to help the girl who lost everything that matters to her.
A connection grows between Mikayla and Jake, but the pain and betrayal that she’s felt runs too deep. Mikayla must learn to become an adult long before her time. Even with the steady support from a new “family” of sorts, it’s still a devastating reality for the seventeen-year-old to process. Can Mikayla forgive her past and move forward into an uncertain future with Jake and her new friends while still remaining her own person?
MORE THAN THIS is a tale of strength, self-preservation, and starting anew. The beginning of the book, especially, is a well-crafted whirlwind of emotions. You will be hurt, charmed, enthralled, and devastated all within the first few chapters.
Once the storm dies down, you get to see the true character personalities as they come out from beneath the fog of trauma. Mikayla and Jake’s beginnings are sweet and heart-warming, especially when they’re surrounded by Jake’s giggle-worthy cast of friends. Special love goes out to Lucy, a tenacious bookaholic and occasional belligerent drunk. Mikayla also must face off against the troublesome remnants of her old life, including her ex-boyfriend, James, and ex-best friend, Megan. While James becomes a multi-layered albeit pitiful character over the course of the novel, Megan comes off as a one-dimensional sadistic mean girl and needed much more fleshing out.
That being said, this story does require some suspension of belief. There’s a lot of plot convenience that keeps the romance moving along, including teens being handed the means to life as normal adults with little trouble, practically deleting messy late teen woes. Mikayla is constantly trying to prove that she can manage her own life, so much so that she comes off as utterly unappreciative at times, yet she never has to do so. Over time, Mikayla and Jake’s romance grows frustrating. They’re both very clear about the fact that they want to be together, yet one of them is always rejecting the relationship for no particular reason. There’s more than couple petty bouts of jealous rage afoot, as well. Still, the story will hit home with fans of emotional romance with a side of fluff.
If you’re considering this book, it’s important to note that this is New Adult. This means you’ll find some sexual situations that put the “steamy” bits in a Young Adult book to shame. If you’re not comfortable with that, this may not be the book for you. Fortunately, the story by no means revolves around the lust factor and presents a fun, romantic read instead.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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