Havoc by Jamie Shaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I first started this story I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. When I read the synopsis of what the story was going to be about I had a certain idea in my mind and I felt like the first part of the book was in opposition to what I thought would happen. It's not so much that I felt I was going in with specific expectations, but more that what the status of all of the characters relationship was as lined out in the synopsis, I didn't feel I was getting when the story started. I don't want to give too much away, and I certainly hope that anyone reading this review reads not only the entire review, but also the book the review is about. Because had I stopped with my first impression, or had I only allowed myself to read so far and then not continued because the story was not evolving the way that I thought that it would, I would have missed out on a fantastic read.
In this book you have Mike, the drummer for a band that has rapidly grown in popularity. In high school he was in love with Danica, and then they grew up and she broke his heart. Fast forward a few years, and she's standing outside his tour bus with her cousin Hailey saying she wants another chance. Hailey however has been dragged along by her cousin to see Mike as Danica has suddenly decided she wants him back. Hailey would rather be doing anything else then standing outside of his tour bus but she lives with Danica, and her uncle, Danica's father, pays Hailey's school tuition and all of her expenses. So she feels that she has to keep Danica happy or she will not be able to finish school and achieve her dream of becoming a veterinarian. But that meeting with Mike changes everything. Soon they are playing video games together late at night and talking while getting to know each other. Before she knows it, Hailey is fighting feelings for Mike and losing. But Hailey knows that Danica wants Mike, and not only does she think she doesn't stand a chance against Danica's beauty and Mike's rock star life, but she also knows that even if Mike wants her too, she may have to give up her dreams and her future to keep him.
So, some things I loved about this story. Hailey's love and dedication to animals and her dreams. Her great relationship with her little brother. The secondary characters from the previous books (which I would like to read after having read this but didn't feel I had to in order to enjoy this one). And the way Hailey finally stood up for herself and what she wanted.
Now some not so loved parts. Danica. If you read this story, and maybe even if she was in the previous stories and you read those, you'll know she's awful. She has no redeeming qualities. It wasn't a problem for me, cause I don't mind having a very clear villian in a story, and she is it. I also found myself wishing this story had been told from dual pov. Unfortunately the direction in the beginning had me seriously questioning if I could possibly like Mike and what the hell he was thinking. Had I gotten some insight into his mind in those earlier chapters, I think I would have connected with him sooner. However once I did get the revelation behind his actions, I understood and I loved him going forward. The beginning also had me a bit hesitant about Hailey but not as much Mike because I saw inside her mind. I saw her struggle and her attempts to fight what she felt and I commended her for it.
This was a story that I ended up really enjoying and it reminded me why I prefer to always reserve final judgments on a book until the end. The build up was good and especially after what I deem the turning point for me, things just kept getting better. I would certainly recommend this story and look forward to checking out more by this author in future.
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