This review was originally posted on my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
I discovered the author through my cover artist who did the magnificient cover for The Space Between. I have to say--it was my lust for the cover and blurb that made me want to read the novel. I have to say, the book was better than a lot of self-pubbed novels I've read, but I wasn't all the impressed.
The interracial relationship, financial and class status and diversity of characters were awesome. I really appreciate Smith giving readers a chance to read a story where these elements are often overlooked. I think stories involving interracial couples are far and few between and that's crazy to me seeing as it's 2013 and it shouldn't even be an issue. It's highly under represented and I commend Smith for taking on topics that many have not touched up on in the YA or NA genre.
I thought the plot was interesting even if it was under developed. Lacey and Drake were okay characters and I didn't hate them, although I didn't quite love them either.
My favorite thing about this novel though, is that it's much more than a "romance" story. I think a lot of readers kind of stereotype NA as a genre that primarily deals with relationships and sex, but this novel is a great example of the NA genre going beyond that. It's about these characters dealing with some real-life issues while learning about themselves and growing in that process. This is what NA is REALLY about. Not just sex.
My biggest complaints with this novel starts with the writing. I really think it could have used another round with an editor and perhaps it's just my personal opinion, but I wasn't fond of Smith's style of writing at all. The tone, the language...it just didn't work for me. I found several passages where I was rolling my eyes and several sentences were just cheesy and over used.
I think I could have dealt with the writing if I loved the characters which I just didn't. I came *this* close to feeling that way about Lacey but I just never connected with her the way I should have for a main character. And Drake just pissed me off a lot of the time. Not fond of him. I had a hard time getting through the novel in it's entirety, I would pick it up and read a bit and set it back down to do something and wouldn't pick it up again until a few days later. It didn't keep my interest as much as I thought it would have (or should have).
Overall, I thought that Smith obviously has a talent for writing, but I think it will take a little more work on the craft and editing to see it really shine through in her novels. I'm interested to see her next project and I'm confident it will be awesome. Although this book wasn't my cup of tea, I think for readers who are new to the NA genre, this would be a great book to start with.
**I received this book free from the author in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.