It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA book that didn’t involve vampires/shadowhunters/casters/unholy-being-of-your-choice…
The last was before Christmas when I read The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley…yeah the less said about that book the better. It made me crrriiiinnnggggeeee and I ran screaming into the arms of Cassandra Clare and happily wiled away hours dreaming about Jace and being able to rock Isabelle’s awesome boots.
However despite all the lovely Paranormal/Dystopian/Magic themed books waiting to be read, I noticed that there was a worryingly high pile of “normal” YA books that needed some attention so I decided to dive in with one that came highly recommened, The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines. I’ve already been warned away from the sequel but I may read it someday…soon.
Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist….<Goodreads Summary>
First off let me say as a rule I’m uncomfortable with books that deal with adultery (personal issues) and even more uncomfortable when I find myself rooting for the guilty parties but I give that as a compliment to the author for writing such a fun story that I “get over” my thing. Emily Giffin deserves a shout out here for her awesome book “Something Borrowed” which made me equally uncomfortable. But that’s the wonder of books, it takes you outside your comfort zone and allows you to paddle safely in unknown waters.
Abbi Glines introduced me to two characters I couldn’t help but root for. “Good-Girl” Ashton and “Bad-Boy” Beau were best friends and thick as thieves as kids as they ran amok and terrorised the neighbourhood with their hijinks while the third member of their pack Sawyer cleaned up their messes and kept them out of trouble. Cut to 10 years later and Sawyer is the star of the Football Team, Honours Student and all-around golden boy and Ashton is his picture perfect girlfriend, daughter of the town pastor, she is careful to mind her P’s and Q’s and not disappoint her boyfriend. Beau is on the sidelines, great football player with a rep for mischief, dating girls who don’t mind being pulled behind the bleachers and drinking at the local field parties.
When Sawyer takes a family vacation, a chance encounter with Beau stirs up old memories and makes Ashton question whether she really wants to be Sawyer’s good girl or be Beau’s Ash…
Ashton’s main dilemma in this book is one many young girls will identify with. The pressure to surpress who you are to be who you think society wants you to be. Ashton isn’t a bad person, she doesn’t kick puppies or do drugs or steal cars. She just wants to laugh, be kissed until she’s breathless and have some fun however in a small town where reputation is everything she feels suffocated and unable to let go. The pressure she feels is so great that when she sees the chance to escape and be the person she feels only Beau will let her be. Glines handles this situation really well. As Ashton finds herself drawn to Beau more and more, we see her carefully examine her behaviour at all times, she may act impulsively on occasion but Ashton recognises her behaviour and when the time comes to come clean and own up, she takes her lumps and then some.
Despite the somewhat sketchy subject matter, the heart of the book is recognising your true self and realising that it is okay to be YOU. This is a lesson not just vital for teenagers to learn but people at any age as the pressure to fit into society’s box is prevalent at all stages of life. The love story is real, sweet, seriously hot at times! and enjoyable. This was my first Abbi Glines book but it won’t be my last.
Rating: Four Stars ★★★★