In Beth Hyland’s debut novel Ivy Mcallister is in college, trying to escape her past, and enjoy her life. She’s been reasonably successful so far when she meets Jon Priestley who she cannot figure out. Jon is a campus star, with all of the girls wanting to date him. Ivy finds that persona unappealing but as she gets to know Jon she realizes he has his own past to escape and that his actual personality is one that she kind of, sort of likes. But with parts of her past trying to keep coming up Ivy has to choose if she should put all her trust in Jon.
This is a somewhat sweet take on the New Adult genre that I appreciated because it was light on the angst that is s common in this world. Both Jon and Ivy do have hard things to deal with from their pasts but in comparison to other books and trauma that characters (and by extension, readers) go through, this was welcoming in its’ light take.
The author chose to concentrate on the relationship Jon and Ivy built together and how the two were dealing with each of their issues. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow and seeing them peeling away the layers to try to connect even more. I really liked that the focus was both on the relationship growing but also on Jon and Ivy growing as people. They were dealing with their own issues and Ivy in particular had to learn to love herself. Jon as the hero was extremely likable to me because while the campus wanted him to be a bad boy, he was much more of a nice guy at heart.
All in all I thought this was a great debut.
I received this ARC in return for an honest review.
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