Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: 738 Days by Stacey Kade

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers―Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

With charm and heart, Stacey Kade takes readers on a journey of redemption and love.

Seriously, guys. This book, man. I loved it so much, I can't even form full thoughts to tell you how much you need to read it. In the acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, Stacey writes about how there are some books that an author can dream up that will never be told. Whether it be because they are too dark, or too weird or scary, they don't see the light of day. She said this was that book for her. And I have to say, I am so thrilled that it did get written. This is the book I have been looking for.

I watch A LOT of crime shows and movies, be the American and British or Korean and Chinese. It's a genre I enjoy a lot, and even listing all of my favorites would take way too long. That being said, all of these shows offer such limited perspective. They are almost entirely made up of policemen/detectives/crime solvers of some type righting wrongs committed by bad guys. So you get the basic premise. Bad guy does awful things, police collect clues, catch bad guy and all is right in the world. But 99% of the time, you have these people who are inherently unimportant to the story for the most part, the victims. Sure, they are important, and the driving motive for solving the cases. But crime shows tend to use them up pretty quickly. They give you this sad horrible thing that happened to these random, average Joes (or, really, mostly Janes) and then the next week, it's new sad Janes and Joes to think about.

All of this is my incredibly lengthy (and hey, lets face it at this point mostly irrelevant) way of saying that I am interested in the journey after the horrible things happened. How people keep on going, finding ways to heal and move on and make something great of their lives again. That's a story that doesn't get told often enough.

The Good
I love Amanda. I love her strength and her bravery and uncertainty. I love that she is doing her damned best in a world that is scarier than she could have ever realized before. Her family is broken, and most of the time she feels pretty broken, too. I love that she doesn't have all of the answers, but that she is ready to stand up for herself when she knows someone is trying to put her in the box of broken girl and make the decisions for her. I love how frank she was, and how she was really honest with people about what happened, no sugar coating. Her cards were always on the table, and it was hard not to admire her for that. When she realized she was ready to take chances, she took them. That was so refreshing. There were no games for Amanda, and she saw through a lot of the bullshit that people put on. Seriously, she is one of my favorite heroines ever.

As for Chase, he is a self-proclaimed (and really world-renowned) fuck up. He has made a lot of mistakes in his past and as Hollywood is wont to do, they aren't going to let him forget it. Chase wants to make things right in his world, and he is willing to do some seemingly sketchy things to get it done. Of course, he is a fuck up with a heart of gold, and he is trying his damnedest to actually make things right, not just seem right. His road to redemption is rocky, but it's a good one. He and Amanda complement each other so perfectly. Every scene with them was just perfect, and it all felt so genuine and natural. I was really worried since this was a new adult book, that if there were sex scenes, that it would bug me or feel overly cheesy. But they were perfect, because Chase respected the hell out of Amanda and her needs and wanted nothing more than to make her happy.

As for the plot line of the book, I will say that this book was really predictable. Every note hit just where you expected it to. I know that sounds like it should go under "The Bad" heading, but in this instance it was just perfect. Sure, I love a book with twists and turns, one that keeps you guessing every step of the way. But in this instance, sweet and steady was the perfect tone, and I love that Kade didn't go for the cheap thrill or the cheesy twist that can crop up in New Adult.

The Bad
Honestly, I don't have much to say for this section. This book really did just hit everything perfectly for me. It's impossible not to fall for Amanda and Chase and not to root for them to make it work.

I guess if I have to pick something to put here, I would say that the resolution with her family did come about a little easily. But honestly, it didn't bug me as much as that probably should have. I wanted the happy, I wanted the nice bow on top. But even I can admit that some people might find it hard to believe.

All in all, I want to buy this book for every single one of you who is reading this. I really, really do. I think if you are a romance fan, that there is a great romantic story in here for you that shouldn't be missed!

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