Manic Monday Indie/Self-Published Author Feature Week #2
Best friends Meagan Davis and Jake Nichols were born on the wrong side of the tracks. Living in a rundown trailer park--her with a welfare scheming, neglectful mother and him with a father wounded in the Gulf War and suffering from PTSD--they forge a friendship they this is unbreakable.
When Jake returns from spending the summer with his grandparents to begin their senior year, he realizes he needs and wants more. Meagan misreads his subtle hints and becomes terrified that she will lose her best friend. Prideful and too stubborn to admit her feelings, even to herself, they begin a game of jealousy that threatens to destroy everything.
And just as Meagan realizes her love for Jake--he gives up, thinking he has been wrong about her all along. She tries to push past her pride and reach out; he insists that things can never be the same. He begins an intense physical program to prepare him for the Army after graduation--a decision she feels is a mistake. Depressed and lonely, Meagan begins to piece her life together without Jake, taking refuge volunteering for a children's art program and discovers she wants to be a teacher.
While their career plans begin to fall together, the gap between them grows so wide that only an epic winter storm has the power to bring them together. Will they be able to repair the damage to their friendship and admit their feelings for each other?
Author: M.L. Gardner & Jane Carrington
Title: Simply Mine
Genre: Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 2012
My Review: 4.5 out of 5 Stars I Loved it.
This was a book that was right up my alley. It was a fast read- another one sitter, and it was interesting. I loved Meagan and Jake and the conflicts they faced. Again, I could relate. Maybe, just maybe, when I am reading the descriptions of books I am subconsciously drawn to the ones that strike a cord with me on a personal level. All I know is I kept shaking my head thinking, "yeah, I know how that feels" or "wow, I'm not only one."
I'm sure there will be a lot of people who will read Simply Mine and hate Jake's tactic. While I wish he would have just come right out and said what needed to be said, I think many of us can relate to the dilemma they find themselves in. Maybe his approach was a little extreme, but it sure got her attention didn't it?
I loved the progression and growth of the characters throughout the book and I loved the ending, even though I will admit I was disappointed there wasn't more, which is why it got 4.5 stars and not the full 5. I would have even settled for an epilogue that gave us a glimpse... and was bummed when I didn't get this. The final resolution was wrapped up in just a few final pages and I felt cheated.
On a lessor note, there were also several grammatical errors throughout the book, which I am not typically one to point out. It's not my thing... I like to focus on the content of the story, but this was a great debut novel and I think this is something the author can really learn from... I know I did (Thanks Trish ;)
Overall though I loved the story and the character development. I am intrigued to know what becomes of Meagan and Jake... and it just so happens, that while trying to contact the author, in regards to being selected for Manic Monday, I saw she has plans for two more books in the series... but no date set for when. Here's hoping for sooner rather than later!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves YA contemporary romance novels with strong female protagonists!