26 August 2012

Book Review: Lengths

Nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad leaves her conservative Pennsylvania home for sunny California, looking for independence, a fresh start, and a place to stash her grief. She promptly finds a job at a tattoo parlor, a craptastic first apartment, and one friend—Ryan—who is a little less friend, a little more benefits. 

Deo Beckett is a soulful surfer with a passion for tattoos and beautiful women. On the eve of his twenty-second birthday, he finds himself living with his grandfather, recently unemployed, and seriously adrift. He doesn’t know much about what he wants out of life, but he does know his current situation isn't cutting it. 

When Deo meets Whit, she’s all sexy makeup and fierce, smart-ass fun. It doesn’t take him long to see past her tough shell. And when he gets a good look at what's under all the superficial stuff that usually gets his attention, it leaves Deo wondering if there might be more to life than living fast and free. 

Too bad Whit has a past she doesn't plan on sharing—no matter how hot Deo is. She might want him, but she knows better than to let her guard down. 

Deo falls for Whit, and falls hard. But everything about her, down to that mysterious tattoo and the way she thrashes in her sleep, tells him that the girl he loves is hiding something. And the more he pushes for answers, the more Whit pulls away. 

Having your guard up is one thing, but are the lengths Whit goes to to protect her secret worth throwing away the second chance she has at happiness with Deo? 

Review: 3/5

Yes. I’m going to sink into what I feel for you. I’m going to sink into the good times and the scary shit. I’m going to sink with you, because I’m tired of drifting and treading, never committing to anything. I want to sink with you. 

I love these lines just as much as I love this book. No needs for the usual words for love - which is highly overused for some YA novels. Lengths is my second Steph Campbell book, and way better than Grounding Quinn

What I like about this novel:
1. Deo . He's a charmer, cool, swoon-worthy and a bum. He just turned 22 when he met Whit in a tattoo parlor. He knew he wanted her at first sight. Although, Whit is not ready for a guy like him who likes to meddle when he's not wanted. But that's the way he love, he likes to take care of them, like the way he takes care of his mother when his father left them and how he takes care of his grandfather since his grams died. But it was not easy loving him because I hated characters who seemed to be a lost cause no matter how good looking he or she is. But good thing people change, and change he did. Finally, he found a direction for his life - not only for Whit but it was also for himself. Yes, the character development was pretty amazing. 

2. The supporting castMarigold (his mom), his grandfather, Roco and his best friend Cohen . Everybody has their own time to shine. They have helped (in their own ways) both characters (Whit & Deo) with their relationship as well as with their personal struggle. I was glad that these people had done their share and weren't just some bystanders in the book. I love his mother's sexual euphemisms - it was kinda cute.

3. The Setting: The smell of the ocean? Priceless. I can almost feel the waves crashing beneath my feet. I also like Marigold's shack - the aroma of different herbs just floating in the air, it has a weird knock into it but somehow the author presented it to be homey. 

4. Plot. This was one of the best moving-on-and-letting-go plots I have ever read. I like how Step Campbell build up my curiosity and then dropped the bomb somewhere in the middle of the novel. I knew Whit lost someone, it was subtly implied, but why she was driving herself to oblivion with guilt was a surprise that I didn't see coming.

5. Cover - HOT!

What I didn't like about his novel 

1. Whit Everyone deals with his/her own grief differently, I just didn't like how she dealt with hers. After the death of her brother, she escaped her hometown, ignored her parents and was someone's booty call. She wanted control and she drives people away, she didn't want to care and was afraid to invest her emotion and take the risk. She has secrets she isn't willing to share - and when Deo found out from other sources she went berserk and sent him packing. 

2. Curses - I haven't found a page lacking of it. I'm not a picky reader and I have some shares of novels with these words imprinted on every chapter, but this novel topped them all. 

But if you ask me if it is worth the read: of course, but not for super young adults because this book has mature contents. 

I'd recommend it for people who have lost someone and has difficulty in moving on.

Favorite Quotes

  • “I inhale, and the two best smells in my world get trapped in my lungs: the salty, cool sting of the ocean in the morning and sweet, morning-sweaty smell of Whit.” 
  • “I don’t sleep with broken-hearted guys. It’s too pathetic.” 
  • “Isn’t ‘I need space’ the universal couples equivalent of ‘I need you to pack your shit and get out of my life’?” 
  • “Life is too short to waste on bullshit.” 
  • “We all die, sweetheart. You’ve just got to live your life with enough meaning while you’re still here to make it all worthwhile.” 
  • “Yes. I’m going to sink into what I feel for you. I’m going to sink into the good times and the scary shit. I’m going to sink with you, because I’m tired of drifting and treading, never committing to anything. I want to sink with you.” 
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