Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: After Math by Denise Grover Swank

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

I received a copy of this book from AToMR Tours in exchange for my honest review.

I haven’t yet read as many new adult books as many of my blogger and author friends (I’m trying to fix that!), but of the ones I have read, this is definitely one of the best, if not the best.  Anyone who says NA is just young adult with sex needs to read this book.  Tucker and Scarlett aren’t even dating for most of the book!  Much more than just a sexy romance, this is a story of two young people overcoming the wounds of their past and learning to trust and put their faith in another person for the first time.  I thought Scarlett and Tucker were both characterized and fleshed out so well; both have been severely let down by the people who should have taken care of them, and despite the huge differences in their outward personalities, this thread connects them. Both characters’ pasts were believable and heartbreaking without becoming over the top or melodramatic.  I really fell in love with both of them and wanted so badly for them to find happiness.   

I very much appreciated the way the author developed the romance slowly and subtly, placing as much importance on the small moments of trust and friendship between the two as the progression of their romantic feelings.  The writing also flowed beautifully with just the right amount of internal reflection.  I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!

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