Published Date: March 1st 2013
My rating: 3 out of 5
Everyone in Jonesville thought that Bryce Evans had the perfect life in High School: he was the Mayor's son, the quarterback for the football team, the boyfriend of the head cheerleader and had a 4.1 GPA. His acceptance to Notre Dame came as no surprise but when he chose to enlist in the army instead everyone was shocked.
Lexi Jones was the quiet girl in school and kept to her small group of eccentric friends. She had no connection to any of the popular kids except for one incident on Prom Night when her path crossed with Bryce's.
When Bryce enlisted Lexi was the only one that wasn't disappointed and decided to send him anonymous letters as a way to feel connected to him. She stopped after a year because she felt there was nowhere for their relationship to go.
Fast-forward four years and Bryce is back in Jonesville and once again he and Lexi cross paths. Only he's no longer the seemingly perfect man and Lexi's no longer the quiet girl.
This time their relationship is quite different but both of them have secrets from the past and friends that threaten to ruin their chance at happiness together
I started off really liking this book. I liked Lexi, Anna and Luke. They're a fresh, young bunch of twenty-two year olds who still live at home with their parents in their small town and just get on with life. Anna works at an animal sanctuary and Lexi works at the library. I also really liked the two POV's being Lexi and Bryce. I got a little tired of the Golden Boy reflection that Bryce seemed to carry with him. Yes, he was a golden boy and the Mayors son. I got it! (There are 8 references to Golden Boy on my kindle...lol)
Bryce does come across as a sweetheart actually. He's been away in the marines, fighting for his country. While he's away he corresponds with a 'Miss' who he's become quite attached to, except she stops writing and this is one of the reasons why he's back in town. He has to find out who 'Miss' is. She doesn't realise that her letters helped him through all the bad times and the good while he was away. And he's almost in love with her even though he doesn't have a clue what she looks like. The writer of the letters is clear from the beginning and Lexi always did and always will have a crush on Bryce.
Personally I loved this part of the story because I know people in the military who live to receive correspondence. It really does lift their spirits.
Anyway, Bryce has a party and some bitchy girls from town take a chunk out of Lexi the first chance they get. Now while Bryce does stand up to them he doesn't do it to a full extent. Now I know that in whatever armed forces you are, your comrades come from all different backgrounds and soon enough it doesn't matter who your parents are or where you were brought up. The only thing that matters is that you have their back and they have yours. Especially for guys. So, back to the story, Bryce should have damn well stood up a little harder to the catty, derogatory girls who have small town brains.
So the story twists and turns. A lot of 'Oh my god' moments happened and was I the only one who thought the woman naked in his bed after the party was related to him? That would have been stomach churner for sure! I was still gutted when it revealed who she was but...it keeps the story going.
Lexi did change in the last third of the book and not for the better. After the big reveal she didn't once ask the question I was almost shouting for her to ask. WHY? Why did Bryce want Eddie to do that to her? My esteem for her dropped when she got over it so quickly and was then full of "It doesn't matter's" and "its not your faults" I really wanted to scream at her.
When Bryce and Lexi go out towards the end of the book, the situation doesn't feel right. This is when she's thinking about Luke more in a serious way. Suddenly I'm wondering if Bryce is really all he's cracked up to be and I worry for her. The ending was pretty much the same as Twisted Perfection, a cliffhanger, without the 'Who'?
I'm going to reads Healed now, the follow up and I hope all the loose ends get somehow tied up.
Overall I liked it, the two voices worked in making the story pan out a little giving us more idea on who is likable and who isn't. Anna was a big shock!
You can reach J.S. Cooper here: