Matisse Evans is determined to make her sophomore year of college successful after failing out of a prestigious art school and spending a horribly boring gap year at home. Despite her focus, time isn’t on her side as she struggles to hold down three jobs so she can afford her first apartment while juggling course work. In the chaos of it all, Beau Grady moves in and shakes up her world. A college dropout and tattooed bad boy, the rumors about Beau mean one thing for Matisse—trouble. Paralyzed by the fear that she’s missing out on life, Matisse discovers plans may unravel, but what rises in their wake can be worth the uncertainty.After spending the summer couch surfing, Beau Grady moves into an empty room at his ex-girlfriend’s Portland bungalow, skipping his senior year of college to spend his days working at a Vietnamese food cart instead. Once a star hockey player and gifted student, he’s put his life on hold after receiving a life-altering diagnosis, complacent to live in the moment. Hiding behind false rumors and bad habits, Beau falls for Matisse, letting her believe the worst until their relationship blooms into something they both can’t ignore. Falling for her means having to face a future he’d rather forget, but loving her just might be worth it.
Matisse is trying to bring her life back into focus. She failed out of art school and is trying to juggle a new start in college with work and trying to keep herself afloat. When Beau becomes her new roommate, she thinks he’s nothing but bad news. He’s a tattooed college drop out whose had many a tales spun about his exploits. She wants to stay far away from him, but she finds that hard to do. Not to mention, Beau is hiding a secret that changes everything. What happens when the truth comes out?
This is a young adult romance and for what it is, I found myself enjoying it. However, I did find myself getting a bit bored with the same old storyline. There’s nothing too terribly original about the plot, not to mention that the major source of conflict between the characters is basically set around misunderstandings. The way all that plays out has become tiresome for me to read, and it makes me want to grab the characters and give them a good shake.
I did like the characters and I did like that the story was told from a dual POV, but I did find myself getting a bit lost at points when it would switch POV. At several points I had to go back and re-read parts to clarify who was speaking. To me, that just means that the story needs an editor.
Overall, I think this story had promise. I did like the characters and the buildup between Mati and Beau, but there were some major flaw that kept me from really loving the book. As it is now, I give it 3 stars.
She grabs my hands and pins them together. I don’t fight off her touch. I let Mati gather them and raise them above my head. “I think it’s so easy to fall into the world when you’re not ready,” she says seriously. Her free hand brushes over my brows, then sweeps down my nose. “It’s such a big place and we’re all very tiny in the scheme of things.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“It sucks being an outlier, Beau. I get it. But in spite of everything, we’re always going to feel a bit lost. It’s the part of growing up that no one ever tells you about.”
“You’re very wise today, Miss Mati.”
“I’m lots things, mister. I’m…” Her voice drops off and she nervously glances down at my chest. “I think I’m a little bit in love with you actually.”
At least I’m sitting. That doesn’t help the way my stomach drops though.
I snake my hands out of her grip and brace them around her face. There’s a reason why outliers exist on the outside—they can’t find their way in.
Mati is no outlier to me.
We kiss for what seems like hours. I don’t care if it’s for days. But we kiss until my mouth wipes away the nervousness in that confession of hers, while I still cowardly hide behind mine.
In the wild, in the sun, Mati and I are…well, we’re something I never thought I’d have or find. And that’s everything.
Rebecca writes smart and gritty New Adult romances, as well as historical romances, featuring flawed characters struggling to find their place in the world. She’s a lover of rainy days, an unabashed anglophile, and a devote Earl Gray tea drinker. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their very spoiled cat, Bella. A wanderlust connoisseur, Rebecca can be caught daydreaming about her next travel adventure when not writing