09 July 2013

(ARC) Book Review: Subject to Change by Alessandra Thomas

Subject to Change (Picturing Perfect #2)
by Alessandra Thomas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: June 25th 2013
Format Acquired: eARC from author (thanks, Alessandra!)
Purchase: Amazon
Joey made her dad a deathbed promise that she would become a doctor, and dedicate herself to fighting the very cancer that took his life. There’s just one problem -three years into her pre-med classes, she's struggling to stay on top of the curve, let alone prove she's dazzling enough to earn a spot in an Ivy League medical school. In a Hail Mary move, she throws a basic Business 101 class into her semester schedule, banking on a perfect score to boost her GPA.

That is, until she’s paired for a final project with Hawk, the bartending, motorbike-riding, gorgeously bedheaded loser who falls asleep in class and communicates in one-word sentences.

Hawk does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which sets Joey on edge – in every possible way. As they get to know each other, her urge to scream at him is curbed only by her fantasies of tearing his clothes off. Soon those fantasies become reality, and Joey realizes Hawk makes her feel more fully herself than any of the rich boys her mother and sorority sisters approve of.

But the promise to her father hangs over her head, and the harder Joey tries to succeed in her chosen career, the faster everything falls into a hopeless tailspin of bad grades, broken promises and guilt. It doesn't help to have Hawk sitting like a devil on her shoulder, insisting she should be free to live however she wants to live - like he does.

The only thing Joey knows is that her neatly organized life is crushing her - and Hawk's bad attitude might be the only thing that can save her.
This was a surprise. I was ready to be swept away by the romance but I ended up liking it for something out of the ordinary for most New Adult Contemporary Romance books. Before I get to that, let's dig into the part that I didn't exactly like about the book: The romance. 

Is it crazy that I wasn't entirely sold on Joey and Hawk's relationship? Here's how it went down: Joey meets Hawk in class, she immediately hates his guts, they get paired up for a project (of course), she continues to hate him -but wait!- he's not such a bad guy after all, they hook up, all hell breaks loose, they kiss and make up, and they live happily ever after. It was formulaic but don't get me wrong, I have a soft spot for love stories like that! And I liked Joey and Hawk as individuals. However I just didn't get that magic in Subject to Change. The build up was a bit forced, their relationship wasn't so convincing and the resolution felt rushed. To me the romance was raw and needed much development. The sex was steamy, I'll give it that, but I think it overshadowed everything else that was supposed to make readers see what exactly makes their feelings for each other real. If I don't get anything more than the physical attraction between the characters then there's no way for me to understand their relationship. The resolution, as well as the happily ever after, was nice albeit rushed. I think if I had gotten more from their relationship, I would've appreciated the HEA more.

But this is the part that I did like: their college life. Joey's having so much trouble coping with her pre-med major because she really wasn't into it. She's so bent on making it work because she promised her dad before he died. So she's caught between pursuing what she wanted but dealing with the guilt or finishing what she started because of a promise. I really liked reading about Joey's struggles in her academic life and how she finally came to a life-altering decision. There was so much emotion and insight that I was reminded of my own struggles. This aspect of the book hit home for me. For three years I was stuck in a major I thought my parents wanted for me so I tried my hardest because I didn't want to disappoint them by changing majors. Long story short I made the change, I'm happy now and my parents are still as supportive. Not only was Joey relatable, her story is something I rarely see in most books under the same genre. Even Hawk has his own dilemma to deal with. He's a working student, struggling to get a degree while keeping his business afloat. It was all stressful and chaotic but it's the reality that people face growing up. They were actually college students who had grown up problems to deal with. College wasn't superficial in this book; Joey and Hawk were very much immersed in it. It was refreshing and I love it.

I liked Subject to Change as a whole. I enjoyed everything else about the book except the romance but hey, you might find it more to your liking. Three pink stars for Joey and Hawk!

My Rating
(Refer to rating system)
About the author
Alessandra Thomas

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since that’s sadly untrue, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time.

When she’s not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.

Picture Perfect is Aless’s first New Adult novel. She had so much fun writing it that it definitely won’t be her last.


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