Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review: Almost

by Anne Eliot

Format: Kindle

Summary:

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.

Review:
4/5

Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. 

How can you start living your life again when everything fell apart and you couldn't remember anything at all? 

When she was in her freshman year, Jess Jordan attended a senior party and she was almost raped. It turned her world in complete rotation and everything was not what they used to be again. She knew she wasn’t rape – but the whole thing was blurred and she could only remember bits and pieces from that awful night.

She was having nightmares she couldn't decipher, she didn't have any friends, she didn't go out with anyone. She didn't have a normal teenage life. Heryounger sister was frantic - giving her lists on how to act like a normal teenager. Her parents were deeply concern, and were adamant in letting her leave for college when she was obviously not ready to be part from them. She needs to become normal. 

Thus - operation LIVE A NORMAL LIFE began.

While filling out her college application, she applied for a summer internship and met the former hockey jock Gray Porter . They strike a deal: they both get the internship, only one gets paid. He gets the $8000 and she gets a fake boyfriend, including his friends and social life. A total win-win situation. 

Only that, she didn’t expect the consequences. How can she not fall in love with someone as amazing and as nice and as hot as Gray Porter? He’s sweet and kept on holding her hand all the time. It was almost having a real relationship! 

But some secrets aren’t meant to be kept forever

Gray is keeping his own dark secrets he is not willing to share yet. He threw promises to people back then, and now, he is in dilemma. Is he willing to risk a budding relationship with Jess when these secrets are revealed? Can he handle the consequences of probably losing Jess? 

Reading Almost reminded me of my undergrad thesis about PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder . This disorder is often suffered by people who have been experienced a very difficult and stressful situation in their lives and is characterized by recurring nightmares. It is difficult to try to live a normal life when you are afraid to sleep at night because you know bad dreams will visit you. 

I feel sad for Jess, all she wants to be is to become normal. But the over-protectiveness of her parents made it almost impossible. So, she got herself a boyfriend, a couple of friends and the charade begins. I couldn’t blame her for wanting her freedom. I admire her determination and her courage in trying to face her devils. BUT just as when she was having a grand time, the nightmare intensifies and all the puzzle came into pieces.

Gray, Gray, Gray. I love his name and I love his character more. At first, I was not sure whether he’s the hero or the assailant. Everything was vague at first, and when the real story unfolded somewhere at the middle and near end of the story, I fell in love with him. I couldn’t put as much as I want to without giving you spoilers, so I will leave it at that. 

I’m not sure with the people surrounding her – were they protecting her or were they in denial of what happened with Jess? I’m torn between hating and understanding them. In fairness to them, on the other hand, what they did what they thought could help Jess move on.

This is my first Anne Eliot novel – and I love it. I like how the story unfolded – how the puzzles came together and rock my world a bit. It wasn’t that heavy, my heart wasn’t pounding very hard when Jess was having nightmares but the story touched me. The battle that Jess had with PTSD at a young age and her determination in trying to live a normal life is amazing. They way the story unfold, and how Jess finally realized what happened that night and how everyone revealed what happened in the aftermath awed me as well. The pacing was good, with some surprising twist that will make you love and hate some of the characters.

Rape – whether the crime has been consummated or not is NEVER the victim’s fault. Their rights have been violated, and they need all the help they can get. They should get to chose whether they wanted to pursue the assailant or just leave it at that. I think the first thing about moving on is accepting that the awful crime happened to them and it is not their fault


Favorite Quotes 
  • “Is this a habit of yours?” he asks. “What?” “Dropping stuff whenever you first see me? It's kind of cute. Flattering,” he adds, straightening while easily holding all of my stuff in his giant arms.
  • "Maybe because he's already been in my dreams for so long, it feels to me as though we've always been together."
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