Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Pages: 446
Date: 14/08/2012
Grade: 3.5
Details: Received from Simon & Schuster
            Through NetGalley

Boy, what a story.
Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She is 19 years old and in her first year at Eastern University with her friend America, determined to leave her past behind her and create a promising and peaceful future for herself. The last thing she needs in her life is someone like Travis Maddox.
Travis is the ultimate bad-boy. Covered in tattoos, he makes money in a floating fight ring while having numerous one-night stands with all sorts of girls who can’t seem to get enough of him.
No, if Abby is going to make her dream of a peaceful life come true, she wants to stay well clear of this fighting machine.
But, when Abby goes to see Travis fight something between the two young people connects. And Abby trying to keep her distance only seems to increase Travis’ interest in her.
Because he is determined to get what he apparently can’t have, Travis proposes a bet. He claims that he always allows his opponents to hit him once before finishing the fight and that he can make it through his next fight without being hit at all. If he does take a punch he must remain abstinent for a month, but if he exits the ring untouched, Abby must spend a month with him.
Unable to resist, Abby accepts the bet and soon finds herself moving in with Travis. And so starts an affair that is as passionate as it is dysfunctional, a relationship that Abby knows can’t have a future. Or can it…?

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this book.
It is a love story but a very disturbing one. We are reading about two people who should never be or stay together. Two young persons, both dysfunctional in their own way and while they appear to feel happy when they are together, their relationship is one of co-dependency. This could, in theory, be a very interesting premise for a story, especially if it was followed by both characters overcoming their issues because they are together. But, that doesn’t appear to be the case in this story. At no point while reading this book did I get to feeling comfortable about this relationship or where it might lead. In fact, my discomfort grew even while the story headed for what I guess is supposed to be a happy ending.
I’m talking about violence, obsessive behaviour, more violence and lots of issues that never got resolved.
When I finished the book I couldn’t help feeling that if the author were to ever write a sequel about these characters it would be a horror story filled with pain and despair.

Having said all that, I couldn’t put the book down. I guess it was a bit like watching a car-wreck, I just couldn’t look away.
The writing is smooth, the dialogue sparkles and the story, while at times horrific, is compelling.
I’ve seen other reviews of this book and it seems that for most readers this is a book that they either love or hate. As my rating shows, it wasn’t either of those for me. I found this an easy read, but one that left me feeling slightly uncomfortable by the time I finished the story.

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