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Monday, February 18, 2013

Review/Giveaway: Almost by Anne Eliot

Title: Almost
Series: No
Author: Anne Eliot
Published: Butterfly Books, February 2012
Format: Ebook provided for review
Tour: No

At a freshman party she doesn't remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she's better. Over it. Because she is.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Unfortunately, until Jess proves she's back to normal activities, her parents won't discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won't cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.

Last month I reviewed a book called Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot. I fell in love with that book. It spoke to me, a thirty seven year old woman, and touched me. I began gushing about it to my friends. And then I received an email from the author, and she offered me a chance to read Almost. I jumped at the chance. There is something so special about this author’s voice, her writing is beautiful and raw, and it gets to you right in the middle of your chest. You know these girls she writes about. You feel like you are them.

Almost is about Jess. Jess, like Vere in Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, is kind of a social outcast because of things that happened in their lives. Jess, though, she is really oh so very special. She is a young girl who is hanging on by a thread, she’s fooling everyone into thinking she is alright – even herself. And so when this opportunity comes along to achieve her dreams of independence, she jumps at the chance. And that chance lies within Gray Porter.

Jess, in her own words, is the master of “expressions laced with eye-snapping sarcasm and disdain.” She is just awesome, and she doesn’t even know it. Right away I want to be her friend. She has this whole fake it til you make it attitude about being better.

Gray Porter is kind of like the all American boy next door, except he has a whole past that no one has a clue about. One night change his life forever; his and Jess’s, and she doesn’t even know it. I just adored Gray. This young man spoke with sincerity, he felt these emotions to his core. He seems to have more heart than any teen boy should be capable of having, and he pulls it off perfectly. Instant win.

This book takes an every other chapter point of view, one is Jess, the next is Gray. So you get to see both sides of this story the whole way through, and it is sublime. This story really grabbed ahold of my heart, I was internally pleading with the pages before me to go the direction I desperately wanted them to. This book even brought me to tears.

“Uncertain of where to look and where not to look, I concentrate on her eyes. On what she’s feeling. Not on how she looked – not on how she’s made my heart feel like it’s in a horse race.”

Every page, every thought… Gray makes me wish I was twenty years younger and, well, a fictional character in a book. In Gray’s chapters we learn a bit about the past through his eyes, and how he is connected with Jess. He has feelings for her, even if he isn’t coming out and saying it right away. And then through Jess’s chapters we learn about the stress, the insomnia, the mental breakdown she continues to suffer and hide. The summer ahead of these two is full of lies to everyone, and you know when it blows up in their faces it is going to be an emotional nuclear bomb.

This story was fantastic. I may be rambling on, but I think it is because there is just so much I want to say. But I’m going to let it go with what I’ve said already, and I’ll let Jess and Gray tell their own story. You can check out my review of Unmaking Hunter Kennedy below. Then please, be sure to enter the giveaway. Anne Eliot is offering one reader their choice of these two books. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong on either one.

Find Anne Eliot Online

Unmaking Hunter Kennedy - REVIEW

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