This book has all the right ingredients…I just didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.
The 411: Peyton is a star high school soccer player who has just been promised a coveted scholarship at UNC. Her dreams are dashed when one night at a party, she suffers a season-ending injury. Although the only witness, her boyfriend, Reed, claims she fell–we, the reader, and Peyton know the truth: she was pushed. By Reed.
After experiencing a considerable trauma and facing backlash from her community who all believe Reed (including Peyton’s best friend), Peyton escapes to a small Tennessee town to live with her uncle and two cousins while she heals. It’s at her new school that she meets Owen, a charming and alluring classmate whose MMA hobby reminds her a little too much of Reed.
And, of course, the fighting world is a small world and it doesn’t take long before her two worlds collide…
I finished this in a few hours and I was seriously underwhelmed. From reviews I’ve seen from other bloggers, people are connecting to and enjoying this book–and I’m glad. I’ve heard wonderful things about Garcia’s other work. Personally, however, I just expected a lot more. I expected to be sobbing uncontrollably into my teddy bear by the end and it just didn’t happen.
I am hopelessly bad at predicting how books will end, but I called this one from the start. Was it romantic? Eh, sure. I was ok with it. I didn’t find Owen as swoony as Peyton did, and I am a constant swooner. The bright, shiny beacon in this book are Peyton’s cousins. I loved how they always stood up for Peyton from the get-go.
Although I’ve read many books covering relationship abuse, I’ve never read a book that looks at steroid usage in sports. I AM grateful that this book tackles this subject and continues to look at victim-blaming and how a community looks at sexual assault.
MY RATING: ✰✰
RECOMMENDED FOR: people who can stomach insta-love and swoony male characters
MAY I ALSO SUGGEST: for the romance, the works of Kasie West. for the political intrigue, WHAT WE SAW by Aaron Hartzler.
Thank you Imprint / Macmillan for my galley. BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS is available on February 6.