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(Warning: Includes Cliffhangers, Strong Language and Sexual Situations. 18+ Only.)
Dana: I've always been the smart girl, the careful one.
Not anymore. I feel reckless, desperate. I love him, and it's senior year, my last chance with him before I leave for college, so I'm going to take it.
What could go wrong? Oh, my God, I had no idea.
Peter: I've spent years trying to hide how I feel about her. It gets harder every day.
For so long, she was my best friend, the first person who truly believed in me, sometimes the only one.
Do I love her? Of course, I do. Can I let her get even deeper into the hellacious mess my life is?
No way. You don't do that to someone you love.
I realized I haven’t read a YA contemporary in a while, which is SO unlike me. Well load and behold here we have a full coming of age story with our two star crossed loved teenagers. Peter and Dana have been put into each other’s lives and struggle with their own insecurities, while still trying to survive real world situations. We read the stories from both Peter and Dana’s POV. These books are full of angst, cliff hangers, shocking situation and strong language.
If you have read and enjoyed: That Boy by Killian Dodd; Present Perfect by Alison Baily; or The Harper Boys Series by Ginger Scott, then you are in for a treat.
Each of these books leaves you on some type of cliff hanger. Which is smart and annoying. It reminds me of those TV shows that finishes the story in the next half of the episode only to start a new problem and it end in the middle leaving you begging for more. Yes my friends that is EXACTLY what this series is. Now I will say it is amazing. It says it is a YA/NA crossover, but I think it is more YA with adult situations.
There are supposed to be two more books to continue on with this series. I don’t like how they are spanned out, but oh well. I will probably buy them and devour those as well.
This series is completely filled with high school drama. The games that we all played, and then later wished we didn’t, are portrayed in these pages. I will admit I think I played a few of them myself back in the day.
As the books play out we find out more and more what occurred on the infamous senior night at the lake. We all come to discover more of Peter’s family history and his lack of self-worth regarding anyone around him that may seem like they care. Dana’s family has their own baggage that wasn’t told to us till some time in book 4. Which let me tell you, I was FLOORED! I was saying, “No WAY!” So yes this series sucks you in and makes you an addict.
One thing that may seem annoying is that each of the books is 2.99 to purchase. BUT unlike many other authors that do this similar selling technique these books are a decent length for novellas. They are each about 150 pages. I think it is worth it. Especially if you like these angst YA stories.
Warning there are spoilers ahead. Proceed with Caution.
I read the first book within a day. Dana and Peter are not related, but their families are tied together through marriage. They have become best friends and have been close to one another throughout high school, but things have changed. It is their senior year and Peter has begun to withdraw himself from Dana. She is at a loss as to why. The more she asked him what is going on the further he pulls away. She doesn't know what to do. She finds out that Peter is now dating another girl and this pushes Dana over the edge. She decides she needs to either forget about Peter or get his attention a different way.
Peter is in love with Dana, but he doesn’t feel he is good enough to be with her. He has been pushing her away and distracting himself with other girls. This doesn’t work. While he is "hanging out" more with a girl he saved named Andie, he sees Dana getting closer to one of the biggest jerks on campus. This makes Peter crazy.
Dana notices that the more she flirts with Trip, their HS football team’s QB, the more Peter begins paying attention to her again. Making Peter jealous isn't want she would normally do, but she is desperate. Which leaves Dana in a vulnerable position. She is left at a party with Trip we, the readers, are left wondering what happened to Dana and Trip at a party. She calls Peter to come pick her up from the party.
Really loved the buildup in the book. It moved quickly, but still kept the authenticity of the story.
In book two we pick up right were we left off with Peter and Dana talking in his truck. Peter notices something is wrong with Dana and catches stuff on her arms. He begins to interrogate her and this leads to her Dad finding Dana and Peter arguing with her in only Peter's sweatshirt.
The entire situation looks REALLY BAD, but as the reader we know what is really going on, even if Dana’s dad doesn’t. As the story progresses we come to realize something is wrong with Dana and everyone can tell. I am not going to give too much away, you have to read to find out, but all I have to say is, it is NOT good! Dana is lying. Lying to Peter, her parents, to her family and to herself. She doesn't want anyone to know what really happened. As the reader we get just as much as everyone else does. Dana never discloses the entire story. She confronts Trip, but that only makes things more difficult for her. We are left with her parents finding her bruises on her body and accusing Peter of doing it.
This one was a lot about Peter using self-control. One constant theme is Dana striving to maintain her control and fix problems logically with no mess. While Peter is striving to gain control of his erratic emotions and not to allow them to determine how he may react.
Book three is heart wrenching and difficult to read at times. Once Dana's parents finding out what happened to her she is scared of what her Dad and Peter might to to Trip. Her uncle Zach is a lawyer and asks her to document all her marks and bruises. Even with all this we come to learn that Dana is STILL lying about what entirely happened.
Peter can tell something is off. He confronts Dana about it and she continues to deny that anything is off. The two of them cannot stop fighting about what happened to her at the party. Dana is trying to protect the men she loves and herself from having to think about what happened to her. Peter tells someone in the family about Dana hiding something, which leads to Dana having to go to the hospital to have a rape kit.
One of the biggest points in this book is when Dana professes her love to Peter. Once Peter and Dana finally admit their true feelings for one another, they give the BF/GF thing a try.
One of my favorite scenes is when Peter and Dana’s dad are sitting in the living room and Dana is telling them why she did what she did. I was in awe of her courage and strength to admit what she did and why it lead to those choices.
In book four Dana is trying to take back control of her life. She has finally admitted what has happened to her. She tells her Peter everything. She doesn't want him to hear it from anyone, but her. She finds peace and comfort being with Peter and that is all she needs to have the confidences to keep going.
At school she still has panic attacks when she hears and or sees Trip. Dana only sees one way to over come her fear of Trip. It is to confront him and warn all other girls about the monster he is. After struggling with what to do, she confronts Trip in the school cafeteria. This causes a big scene, which ends up with all their parents, the counselor, principal and VP, and a sheriff to come to the High School.
It is an empowering scene and the entire time you are rooting Dana on. Peter stands by her for support and doesn't falter in being the strong silent companion she needs. This one was by far my favorite. We see Dana growing into a woman and Peter slowly coming into trusting others.
Teresa Hill is a USA Today Bestselling Author whose books have been translated into eight different languages and sold in many more countries than she’s had the opportunity to visit. (So not fair.)
Growing up on a farm in Kentucky, she was a Daddy’s girl and a tomboy. She learned to drive on a tractor and loved to climb trees.
Her mother warned that one day – when she wanted to have pretty legs for boys -- she’d be sorry about all her scrapes and scars. But she has no regrets -- not even about the time she got a fishhook stuck in a very sensitive area or ended up seeing her own kneecap. (Not on an X-ray.)
Her husband found her while they were both working their way through college. (He was her boss.) She remembers thinking so clearly, “What are you doing here? You’re much too early. I have things to do.” But she couldn’t just tell him to go away and come back later, so she married him. He never tried to keep her from doing anything.
She wanted to live by the ocean, so after college, she sent resumes to a dozen coastal cities between Virginia Beach and New Orleans. It worked! She wrote her first novel on a little island off the South Carolina coast.
She and her husband now share their home – a brick ranch (for him) with a view of the mountains (for her) -- with a collie, a German shepherd and a 20-pound cat who informs her it’s time to stop working by plopping down on her keyboard. (He doesn’t care if her hands are still on it.)
She believes everything in life – the good or the very bad -- is better with someone you love, which is why she writes love stories.
Active Drinking, Active Swearing, Sexual Assault, Abuse, Self-loathing, Active Sex & Kissing.
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