I was in given a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely loved this story. I had been in a bit of a reading rut for a for the few weeks before I started reading this book, and was so relieved when I picked it up and was immediately drawn into A.J. Bennett’s captivating storytelling. I loved how very ‘real’ the characters were, and how they had flaws that weren’t just skirted over, but made into a huge part of the story allowing for some incredible character growth. I especially loved Grayson’s character and the decisions she made after escaping from an abusive relationship, for her to come to understand what she wanted from life.
Whilst many people may find my view on this very strange, I loved that Grayson dealt with her issues in ways that may make her seem unlikable as the story’s heroine. I loved the tension between Grayson and Derrick that started out as sexual and later became more intense and confusing as they both made choices the other disapproved of. When seeing Grayson try to find her sexual self which had been dominated through years in an unhappy and abusive relationship, I kept mentally shouting at her that she ‘deserved better’. And that was why I loved this book. I really connected to the characters and whilst I didn’t agree with their actions, I could understand why they felt they should act that way.
‘Now or Never’ is a great story of self-discovery and I was pleased that A.J. Bennett didn’t merely give Grayson and Derrick an easy journey, but had them do things that young people do, and then learn from their mistakes. There were no apologies given for the way that Grayson and Derrick gave themselves, and each other, less than they deserved, which brilliantly helped to develop their characters through the course of the book as the fall-outs caused through their actions made them begin to see the error of their ways.
The style of writing was fluid and great to read, as the story flowed at a good pace and didn’t leave me wishing for a bigger build-up or aftermath to the main action. The descriptions of the town were wonderful and I really felt as though I could see the town before me, and the atmosphere and characters inside the coffee shop.
A.J. Bennett delivered a truly wonderful read, which as well as giving me the satisfaction of seeing Grayson and Derrick’s relationship unfold, also gave a realistic view on a young woman’s journey of self-discovery.
5 Stars and a definite recommended read.