They call it “Fifty Shades for young adults”.
Walking One-Night Stand, Travis Maddox meets his match in Abby Abernathy. Travis is the one of the best underground fighters. Abby shows up in one of his fights dressed in a cardigan which he later sprays with blood. Travis is cousin to Shepley who is in a relationship with America, Abby’s best friend. Abby and America are new to Eastern University, getting away from Abby’s dark past.
I admit that I enjoyed Fifty Shades for what it’s worth. Reading it with a fanfiction mindset also helped. With that said, I did enjoy reading this book. I read it inside of 2-3 days and there were parts where I could not put it down. The writing is okay and easy to read. It was fast-paced and the… themes… are pretty interesting to young adults and adults alike. But there were bits in the book that, in the words of one of the characters, “has just become one convoluted clusterfuck”. I think the author tried to fit so much about the characters that it became a bit confusing. Abby’s backstory came out of nowhere but it was poorly handled that I didn’t know what to make of it. I think it’s supposed to be a driving force for the second part of the novel but it didn’t have quite as much impact as what I think the author is going for that it almost became an afterthought.
This book’s strength is in its characters. Especially the supporting roles, America and Shepley. Abby and Travis were a little too ideal – straight A student bad boy and a “simple” girl who cleans up real nice? Yeah, of course. Travis came across as over-the-top scary many times. America acts like the voice of reason and at the same time, Abby’s best protector. I love the way she goes all out in everything she does. I also love the Maddox family. What a rowdy group of men!
What I did not like was the ending. It kind of turned me off from the whole thing. I felt that the ending was the biggest cliche of them all. It was very predictable. As soon as I realized what will happen, I went, “Please, no. Not that direction…” But oh well, got to have at least one painfully obvious cliche in every YA novel, right? And considering this ended up like it did, the story stretched on too long.
I had a bit of trouble digesting that this is classified as a young adult novel. In the several bookstores that I visited, I’ve seen this shelved either under YA or contemporary adult fiction. It does have a YA feel but at the same time, it’s a bit dark to be truly YA. Maybe for older young adults? If that makes sense. There are a few themes that I don’t think will send the right message to the teen crowd. Also, I could totally see this as a TV show on the CW Network. This is definitely right up their alley.
Recommendation: If you liked Christian Grey and how he treats his woman then you might also like Travis Maddox. And this book.