Title: Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2)
Author: Ginger Scott
Published Date: Expected October 20th 2015
Genre: NA Romance
***THIS BOOK WAS PROVIDED TO NERD GIRL IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Andrew Harper grew up in a house marked by tragedy. His older brother Owen did his best to shelter him, but you can only be protected from life’s pain for so long. Eventually, you end up just feeling numb…and isolated.
Loneliness was the one constant in Andrew’s life. Until one girl, met by chance in a high school hallway, changed everything. Emma Burke was a mystery and all that was beautiful in this world, the only air Andrew ever wanted to breathe. She took the lonely away, and filled it with hope and color, and Andrew would do anything to keep her safe, happy and whole.
But sometimes, what feels good and right is what ends up hurting us the most. And when Andrew and Emma are faced with an impossible decision, Andrew is tested to see just how far he’s willing to go for the girl who owns his heart.
Cuts are deep.
Scars are left behind.
And revenge beckons.
When Andrew finally gets his chance, in college, five years after his first love broke him completely, he finds out old feelings don’t really disappear just because you say you hate someone. The more he tries to avenge all that he believes he lost, the more he uncovers the real story of what happened years before.
Love is wicked. But a restless heart is never satisfied beating on its own. Can Andrew and Emma make it right before it’s too late, or will the ties that bind them now destroy their only chance at a future?
Their story begins in high school, but most of Wicked Restless is set several years in the future when Emma Burke and Andrew Harper meet again. Andrew is smart, maybe even a genius. His mother and brother try to shelter him from the small-town rumors and talk about their family and the trouble that seems to follow them. His brilliance gets him enrolled in an accelerated community college program for high school students. Between the rumors surrounding his family, his intelligence, and not attending a real high school, Andrew feels isolated, excluded and different…until he meets Emma Burke.
“But I didn’t really have much of a life here. I mean…I had my brother’s life, my brother’s friends. And we lived next door to Owen’s girlfriend. But, it was all Owen. None of it was really me.”
Emma Burke is a beguiling sixteen year old with eyes like a stormy ocean. She is pretty, quiet, and intrigued by Andrew Harper who she meets when both have to take the high school required P.E. class. Emma ignores the small town rumors about Andrew’s family. She sees Andrew for the nerdy, nice guy that he truly is at heart. Neither Andrew nor the reader get to know anything more about Emma until much later in the book, since Emma doesn’t trust Andrew with her secrets as he has with her.
“She’s the perfect storm, and I’m lost at sea.”
When the characters meet again, Andrew is no longer a young, innocent nerd; the patina of his struggles shows not only on his body but also in his attitude. Emma is studying to be a doctor, as was always her plan. Her apparently perfect life is courtesy of a couple people, one of whom is Andrew Harper—not that she’s ever acknowledged it. I struggled with Emma. I found her hard to like or care about. Many (not all) of her hardships were due to bad decisions she made; the decisions were sometimes due to selfishness and sometimes due to her meekness and insecurity. She worried so much about herself and her future; even when her actions were meant to be about/for someone else, she came off as one of those it’s-all-about-me girls.
“He’ll see it as selfish because he’ll put it all together, see how it fits with that night and what I let him do for me.”
My heart broke early in this book, and it seemed to crumble a little more with each reveal of the cost of Andrew’s sacrifice. This story didn’t break me in half, it crushed me into a million little pieces. I work with teens, I raised two boys of my own, and the hardships that Ginger Scott presents in Wicked Restless are sadly close to the reality that some teens face today. One of the things I love about Ms. Scott’s writing is the realism. The heroine doesn’t have a rich daddy, and the hero is a billionaire trust-fund brat. They have to find a way to figure out how to get through all hardships that life has thrown at them.
“These scars…they’re from surviving.”
Wicked Restless is an atypical NA second-chance-at-love romance. Young Emma and Andrew are so sweet. I was anticipating an adorable YA, but Wicked Restless is filled with heartbreaking challenges, drama, and angst. It’s also filled with untold secrets, anger, and resentment. Andrew is a great character that made me want to give him a hug at times and shake him by the shoulders at other times. The range of characters included in Wicked Restless is magnificent. Great friends, fiendish school administrators, caddish dates, and loving, well-meaning parents all add depth to the story. The one secondary character that really rang my bell was Dwayne, Andrew’s stepfather. He is a caring and supportive male role model who made a huge difference to both Owen and Andrew Harper. The engaging characters and eventful, fast-paced plot had me glued to the book. It really is a page-turner; I kept reading and reading with a desperate need to know that something was going to go right for Andrew and Emma. Wicked Restless is a tearjerker. It is a compelling story of sacrifice and love. It’s an against-all-odds love story filled with real social issues that impact teens and young adults today.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
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