GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction, Romance
FORM Book; ARC/First Reads
SERIES: The Port Fare Series
SYNOPSIS: Maggie Brown looks the part of a Heroin addict; skin and bones, pale almost translucent skin, dark circles under her eyes. It is for these reasons, and the fact that her alcoholic mother is also triggering some alarms in the recent Heroin traffic sting that is currently going on, that under cover METs have started focusing their attention on her. Simon, an undercover agent currently enrolled at Port Fare High School as a senior, does not believe Maggie is involved with any of the drug trafficking, but because it’s his assignment and partially because he is drawn to her, he begins to get to know Maggie. At first Maggie is timid due to the way she is treated and always has been treated, she doesn’t trust anyone, people are always out to use her to get what they want or they just walk all over her. Eventually, though, she gives in to her emotions and little by little Maggie begins to let Seth in. The more Seth gets to know Maggie, the more he falls for her; but his attention and regard for her suddenly puts Maggie in more danger than she already was in.
REVIEW: I won this book on one of the Goodreads “First Reads” giveaways. It came signed by the author, a happy surprised – if it was listed as a signed copy, I missed that part. The cover of Unlovable, drew me in straight away even though the synopsis made me want to pass it up and keep browsing, because the book sounded a little too much like real life for my taste. I live real life daily, including people around me who abuse alcohol and drugs, therefore I like to read books will take me away, but there are always a few that slip through the cracks. So that first day I noticed the book I did in fact pass up the opportunity, but I came across the book again on another day and thought, ‘what the heck, I probably won’t win it anyway. And then I did.
This book is Sherry Gammon’s first published work, and as a breakout novel, it is absolutely awesome. The story is captivating, you get to know Maggie and Seth, as well as Booker, Cole, and even a few nasty students at Port Fare. The book almost makes you feel like you are a part of the crowd, watching the action as it unfolds.
Maggie and Seth’s relationship is a fun, light-hearted one. They make fun of each other, tease, play fight, tickle, get in arguments; all the things you expect out of a newly-in-love relationship. Seth is very honorable, and able to give Maggie space when she needs it, instead of being over bearing and constantly in her face; but this is mostly an illusion. At the same time that he was giving Maggie her space, he was still keeping an eye on her, protecting her, and at times was able to materialize many times at the blink of an eye. However, he is very loving and sweet, and gives lots of very sexy kisses!
WHAT I LOVED: As I said, the story captivated me. Once I got within the first couple of chapters it was very difficult for me to put it down. There was plenty of action and suspense. Not to mention love and kissing.
NOT SO MUCH: The book, however captivating and suspenseful, was predictable. From the onset I could tell you exactly what was going to have to happen in order to get to the end. In fact, I did tell my husband everything that was going to happen. Not in specific details of course, but the main outline of the book.
When I first picked up Unlovable, I found the writing a little bit stiff and awkward, especially the dialogue. This straightened itself out most of the time, but there were still some parts throughout when that awkwardness returned. I’m not even sure how to explain it, except that it came off as though the characters were saying what they were suppose to say instead of what they wanted to say – like they were trying to fit into a mold that they previously busted out of. That being said, there were also a few character inconsistencies. Mostly with Maggie, I think. The book started off sounding as if she was friendly and had friends, but the further you moved forward in the book, she was extremely shy and shut off and just had people around her who used her.
One last thing, and then I’ll shut up, because I actually really liked this book. I feel like prior to writing the book, Sherry Gammon read a bunch of books and pamphlets on drug/substance abuse, and after gathering all this information, she wrote the most extreme characters and circumstances she could think of. Every single “bad” character in the book had no redeeming qualities, including Maggie’s mother, who was suppose to have a little bit of redemption. The “bad guys” were some of the worse cases of drug addicts/pushers that you can think of. Then, when Maggie was being described as being “codependent,” it felt like I was reading directly out of a text book. I feel like books should paint the picture instead of presenting the information. The picture was mostly painted, but then all the cards were laid out on the table and listed. Once again, this presented another one of those awkward moments in the book I was talking about before.
I really enjoyed the book, and the characters despite it all. Even now, almost twenty-four hours since I finished the book, I continue to think about the characters, and am a little disappointed when I remember I actually did finish. I look forward to reading the next installments of The Port Fare Series!