I love reading more than just about anything else and can't wait to share my views with you.
This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Landon Lucas Maxfield lost everything as a child. His mother was brutally murdered while his father was out of town and he can't help but blame himself for it. If only he could have freed himself from his bindings. He has finally gotten his life together, going to a good school, living with family friends, and has met a girl that just might change everything. Can he keep it up or will his new life crumble like his old one did.
I have been avoiding this review for quite a while. I am not a pre-order person. I know pre-ordering a book helps the sales and promotions and that is awesome, but I typically just wait for the book to release and then pick it up somewhere. This, however, was an exception. I pre-ordered this book months in advance and I waited impatiently for it to show up on my doorstep. This is Lucas' story. LUCAS. I loved Easy. I loved Easy so much that I couldn't imagine this novel being anything but perfect. I devoured this thing as soon as it arrived. I ignored the books I was <i>supposed</i> to be reading to lose myself in Lucas' head. And that is why I've been avoiding it. While reading, I loved it. I adore Lucas and his perspective and I couldn't get enough. Now, trying to think up what to say here, I'm not so sure. Was it as great as I wanted it to be? And within lies the rub. I don't want to say anything about this that detracts from it's awesome. I wanted to be in Lucas' head desperately while and after reading Easy. I can't fault Webber for giving me what I want, right?
We finally get to see through Lucas' eyes in this novel. It's everything I imagined it to be and more (and maybe less). It felt like an honest look into his head, not hiding or leaving out things that the reader might not like. I know going in, I knew it was him and Jacqueline against the world, so it was difficult for me to read scenes where he was crazy about a different girl. I think that was my biggest issue. As much as I wanted to know more about his past and his teenage years, I found myself not caring about him. Every time we switched perspectives, I had a huge urge to skip over his youthful indiscretions back to the next chapter about college Lucas and his journey with Jacqueline. I applaud Webber for trying to add something different. We have gotten too many novels that just tell the exact same story as the previous one through a new perspective. That's what we really want, but at the same time, it is a bit dull to rehash the same events, even in someone else's head. So I get what she was trying to do and I loved seeing his past and history, but I just didn't care. Teenage Lucas got on my nerves. Teenage Lucas irritated me. I get that it's his past and it shaped him into the guy I love, but I didn't like him as a character.
Jacqueline is obviously the same character we had in Easy. Nothing about her has changed. She's smart and tough and so very vulnerable. So I have nothing new to say about her. If you want her story, read Easy.
My problem is, as I touched on above, this is told in alternating chapters. We get a bit from Lucas retelling Easy and then a bit from his past and then more from Easy and more of his past and so on and so forth. I don't know if it would have worked better if it was told in a more linear fashion, because like I said, teenage Lucas irritated me. I wasn't really his biggest fan. I can say that I found myself skimming the "Landon" chapters to get to more Lucas.
For me, the Lucas chapters are just as swoon-worthy as he was in Easy. I've read several reviews talking about how he is a creeper in this and it's ruins Easy for them, but I whole-heartedly disagree. I don't find him creepy in this. It's not like he is actually stalking Jacqueline. He just observes her while in class and if/when he sees her on campus. I don't see a problem with that. Now if he was actively following her around and saving her trash, that would be creepy and I would have problems, but who hasn't paid attention to a crush? If there is someone in one of your classes that catches your attention, aren't you likely to watch them? Sneak glances and notice them if you see them elsewhere? Aren't you likely to pay a bit more attention to them?
If you are a fan of Easy, I think you'll love this. If you haven't yet read Easy, I think you should do that first. I think it's written in a way that you can understand it if you haven't read Easy, but I don't think you'll love it as much if you read out of order. Seeing through Lucas' eyes is truly a treat and despite my issues, I do recommend this. I think it is a highly enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what else Webber has in store for us (in this fictional world or any other).