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Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.

Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

My thoughts

This review is just going to be a mishmash of things I felt whilst reading this book. I can't promise it'll be all that coherent and there may be spoilers so if you've not read you might want to skim read this.

I wanted to read this book purely due to the cover. I am terrible at doing that but I don't think I'm the only one who does that. So this story revolves around Harper. Harper is 18 and has spent her life living under the tyrannical rule of a marine father who home schooled her and demanded she addresses him only as Sir. I meant what the hell? I don't get that at all. Why? Why would a father do that? Is it an American thing? Or a macho thing? Never mind. So Harper is keen to get out of there obviously and moves to the other side of the country start her college life. Whilst there she meets two boys, a best friend and finds the family she has always wanted

In the first page you get this idea that Harper is a naive young thing without a real clue about anything. For me that never changes and I really didn't like her as a character. She seems to be blinded by a gorgeous face or a flash of money or the offer of love and quite honestly the girl is a psychologist's dream craving all the things she's missed out as a child. For me she really didn't seem to have any personality at all. I just didn't get why these guys were falling at her feet and aside from craving a family and babies (yes because that is what ALL teenagers want from the age of 18) she didn't seem to have anything about her. I didn't find out what her interests were, what she enjoyed doing or even what she was studying at college. The girl was so flat as a character it is untrue.

One thing I didn't like about this book was the way in which the characters seemed to be rolling in money to the point that it was never an issue or questioned. You end up in the situation where a teen couple end up with a house bigger than mine with all brand new matching furniture, brand new cars etc and they didn't really have to work all that much for it. I hated that the characters had life so easy because real life just isn't like that.

For me the boys of the piece, Chase, Brandon and Carter were as boring as characters as Harper. While they did have a bit more about them interest wise essentially they were all gorgeous and huge beef cakes who were nice to look at but spent the majority of time facing off and growling at each other in their protectiveness of Harper who quite honestly didn't seem worth it. It was caveman brawling at its best. Who wants a man whose first option is to punch any man that looks at you in the face without asking questions?

As the story goes on you end up with the Harper, Brandon, Chase love triangle. Harper is officially with Brandon who she lurrves more than life itself. People said Bella was shallow when it came to Edward but by god Harper is worse. She loves him, parades her skinny bottom around him partially naked, sleeps in his bed and yet won't give it up for him. While I don't think that is a bad thing as such it did think it was really two faced when she decides, after being left alone for one evening, to jump straight in the sack with Chase. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???? You won't sleep with your boyfriend who is like your personal puppy dog and faithful to you but you sleep with the boy who sleeps around and to make it worse you do it without a condom (and I quote "don't worry about that") twice even though you've been making jokes for months that he might have a STD. WHY? Quite honestly from that moment out I thought she was quite possibly the stupidest character I ever have read about. Oh no actually I thought she was even more stupid the day after on the return of Brandon.

So a lot of this book is also about Harper craving a family to the point were she makes her best friend Bree's (and chase's) family her own. Don't get me wrong I have friends I love as much as my family but quite honestly the speed of it was creepy and a bit sick making. I just didn't get it quite honestly.

The twist in the book about half way in was just stupid. I wanted to thought the kindle across the room especially when it was apparent that from that moment out what little bit of good there was in the book to keep me drawn in left. From there on out the book for me became dull and predictable and vomit inducingly stereotypical reminding me of the story of book a child might write or act out with Barbie dolls in its quality (albeit with more xrated language). I'm really not trying to be nasty but honestly I've read work from teens who have written with more sophistication and more beautifully than this.

For me the last bit of this book was so stereotypical to the point where I think it's world view was a little bit dismissive. What I mean by that is that by the end of the book all of the main characters were coupled off and married (or close to it) with the younger couples, who were in their late teens early twenties, gagging to start pushing out as many babies as possible. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that lifestyle choice but quite honestly it's not something everything wants, or has the option to have and having these things certainly does make you a successful human being or lesser one without them. It was so unrealistic it was almost laughable

All in all I was left by the end of the book disliking all of the characters and feeling judged that my life doesn't involve around the need to produce many children ASAP. So much potential. Such a let down.