Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: SAVING QUINTON by Jessica Sorensen

Title: SAVING QUINTON by Jessica Sorensen
Pub Date: Available Now!!
ARC received from Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Dannie says: Sorensen could write a book about numbers, and I'd be hooked to the very last page. QUINTON is no exception. 

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SAVING QUINTON by Jessica Sorensen (February 4, 2014; Forever E-Book; $4.99)
Nova Reed can't forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She's determined to find him and help him . . . before it's too late.Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he's done. But there's one flaw in his plan: Nova isn't going anywhere . . .


The dynamic between the two main characters. One thing Sorensen does consistently well is creates characters whose relationship makes sense while simultaneously being full of conflict. This is the case with Quinton and Nova, though I liked their chemistry better in Book 1, which is why this is a like and not a love for me. There was more interpersonal tension where as the conflict and tension here was more intrapersonal. Yes. I make up words. Just go with it, people. 

The distinct narration and voice between the two main characters. Here again I thought this was something she did better in book one but still did better than many female new adult authors and that was creating a male narrator who sounded male (for the most part) without making the distinction between the two that the guy curses a bunch. I enjoyed the voice in this read. 


The overall story arc and plot. It goes without saying that I'm a sucker for this sort of story, but really I was instantly invested in these characters and their journey. I was both terrified and eager to know how the whole thing would turn out and read way too late into the night to reach the ending!

The authenticity. This is a tough read because there is so much reality to it. Both in terms of being the addict and caring for and about a person who is addicted. You feel helpless and lost and there is this seemingly endless cycle of trying and failing. Sorensen does an awesome job of making that reality come through for the reader. She doesn't pull punches or gloss over the reality to please the reader, and I have great respect for her as a result.

Quinton. He was what drew me into the first book and I latched onto him again here. He is such a great, organic dark horse character and I was really rooting for him, even when he was being a very unlikable anti-hero. I was totally invested in what was happening to him and he was very, very real. 


Intensity and pace. In BREAKING NOVA the listless narrative made sense because Nova was dealing with her chaos and depression. Here she's supposedly better and happy with her life. I found her narrative to contradict that, and I wanted more energy out of her. In fairness, though, this does go back to the story's authenticity. Sometimes the things that we do to help people who are dealing with drugs don't work...a lot of the time they don't work. And a lot of the time the things we do to help actually harm, despite our positive intentions. Regarding this element, I felt like the author could have done more to accentuate this theme for the reader. 

A stronger female MC. This bothered me in NOVA, too, but more so here because she was really tagged as the hero in action for this story. I found a lot of her narrative to be really simple so I wanted more complexity from her than we got. I think she had a courageous goal of helping Quinton get sober, but almost from page one I felt like she wasn't up to the task. She was more fragile-seeming than I wanted her to be. To be clear this isn't a flaw in the writing, it's just my personal preference for how I like my female main characters. 

More arc in Quinton's character--I would have liked to have seen a little more growth in our MMC. I think that he does have some of that, but not enough for a POV character. I think if the author had taken further what happens in the last twenty pages of the book, we would have seen that growth. So my fingers are crossed that we will get some of that in Book 3!

Short story long, I'm pretty much onboard with reading anything Jessica Sorensen writes. She creates engaging characters in conflict-filled situations that are authentic and gripping and SAVING QUINTON is no exception.

About the author:

Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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