Wednesday, May 21, 2014

RILEY'S REVIEW...SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL...BY MONICA JAMES


"There's something about you, and I just can't stay away. But I don't want to freak you out, or push too hard. But the more I get to know you, the deeper in I fall. You're not like anyone I have ever met before, and I just want to get to know you, the real you." Quinn Berkeley


When I can't get a book boyfriend out of my head days after I've finished a book, I know the author's done an amazing job at creating a character. Another clue to a great book is when I cannot wait for the next book. Monica James, please let there be part two coming soon.

In Something LIke Normal,  Mia Lee has been dealt a seriously bad hand in life. Her mom left her and her father when she was three years old. Her dad turns into a drug addict/dealer, who has put his young daughter to work delivering drugs. When dad decides delivering is not good enough anymore, he decides to put Mia to work in another way. A way that Mia knows she needs to escape  from. The night Mia escapes, it's definitely with a bang. 

I usually find book boyfriends really easily. It takes a little more for me to totally love a female character. I love Mia Lee. She's not your usual teenage girl. She's different. Dark make-up, dyed hair, and piercings. You can tell she's a bad ass. But you can also tell she longs for the childhood she never got to have. She wants her life to finally be normal. What she gets when she runs away is "something like normal". It's better than anything she's ever known.

After Mia deals with her scum of a  father, she sets out to find her mother. Mia believes her mom still wants her, even after she left all those years ago. Taking a bus as far away as she can she winds up finding a room at a motel owned by a kind, grandfatherly man named Hank. For some reason Mia trusts Hank immediately.Trusting him turns out to be a good idea for Mia, since Hank gives her a place to stay and a job. That night she stops being Mia Lee victim and starts a new life as Paige Cassidy, survivor. 

Paige doesn't plan on staying in South Boston any longer than she has to. So in addition to working for Hank, she takes on a waitressing job at Bobby Joe's Diner. It's here Paige meets her first friends ever. The bubbly, vivacious Tabitha and the devastatingly hot Berkeley brothers, Quinn and Tristan.

Both boys are clearly interested in Paige, but she has an instant, intense attraction to Quinn. Who wouldn't? Dark perfectly messy hair, sparkling green eyes, lip ring that he sucks on in a totally panty dropping way. Anyway, Paige, who has never had these kind of feelings for a boy, knows she needs to stay away from Quinn. She's only going to be in South Boston until she can save enough money to find her mom. So clearly, she has no time for the totally hot and mysterious Quinn Berkeley.

As time passes, Paige gives these strangers in her life a chance. She gets to know them, she trusts them, she lets them in. She even starts to have kind of a normal teenage existence with them. Something she's never had before. 

Movies, shopping, parties, all things Paige has never had the chance to do before. She finally has these experiences. But all the while, she never forgets, she's not a regular girl and she's forever worried about what will happen if these new friends find out her secrets. 

The sexual chemistry between Paige and Quinn is holy hell hot. They've both neither felt this way before and there are some bumps before they realize they're better together than apart. After Paige gives into her feelings for Quinn, he backs off. He thinks his brother Tristan would be better for Paige. It's about now when you figure out Quinn has secrets of his own. When Paige and Quinn get together....damn! Be ready for fireworks! Quinn basically tells  Paige he'll own her body and soul and that statement is seriously as  hot as hell.

In Something LIke Normal, Paige isn't the only one with secrets. Quinn is carrying around some major baggage too. Baggage that threatens to ruin him and Paige before they even get started. 

Paige comes to think of South Boston and the motel as home. She thinks maybe just maybe she won't want to leave. Then just when you think there's a happy ending on the way...plot twist! It's explosive and unexpected. You may even shed a tear or two (I did). 

I really have to give Something Like Normal a five lip smack review. The story keeps you involved from beginning to end and the chemistry of all the characters makes you automatically like them and want a happily ever after. Please Monica James...I need more!!!