Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: Off Sides

Off Sides
“I'm not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone...something...to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost...a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved...”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days...
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Big Dog Publishing
Publication Date: February 21, 2013
Kat's Review
This is a short novella about two college kids from different sides of the tracks who fall in love and try to make it work.  Rich, privileged Ryan and working class Danny.  They meet at the diner where Danny works to help pay her college bills, and Ryan can't stop thinking about her.  Despite his misgivings, he asks her on a date and they click, but Ryan panics because he's worried about how the people in his life will treat her if they start a relationship. 
There are several things I liked about this book.  Danny is smart and tough, but she is not a victim, despite the hardships she faces.  She sacrificed her music education to help pay for her mom's medical treatments, and she made practical decisions in order to stay in college and make ends meet.  She's independent and isn't intimidated by Ryan or his world.  Ryan is a nice guy, who is able to think for himself.  I was worried at the beginning, when he doesn't call her for a few days, that he would be playing the "I love her so much but I'm embarrassed of her card" that I was relieved when he didn't.    He treats  her well, and their personalities complement each other.  It was nice to see a college guy depicted in the book as a normal, everyday guy.  Not a womanizer, not an overly violent douche who tries to control his girlfriend because he "loves her so much he can't stand to have anyone else even look at her," just a guy who falls for a girl from a different social circle and tries to find a way to make it work.
There are a few things I wish had happened differently.  Ten days is plenty of time to make a great connection with someone and decide that you want more, but their relationship went from zero to you're the love of my life in that time span.  It would have been more realistic to me if the timing had been spread out a bit.  Also, without giving away spoilers, the big thing that happens that makes Ryan's mom step in and try to end the relationship was a bit over the top.  I can't say more than that without giving anything away.  Also, I thought the ending was cute, but kind of cliché.  Again, that's all I can spill without spilling anything significant.
Rating: Worth a Look
This book has some great elements, as well as some parts that weren't for me.  Overall, it's a short, quick read with an interesting premise and likeable main characters.  Danny is a strong woman, and Ryan is a nice guy.  If you like the New Adult genre, this novella is a cute addition.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the author in return for an honest review. 

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