Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Out of the Shallows by Samantha Young

Charley and Jake’s story concludes in Out of the Shallows…

Somehow, after everything they’ve been through, Jake Caplin and Charley Redford made their way back to one another. But finding each other and staying together are two completely different things.

When Charley’s world is flipped upside down, she begins to question the choices and decisions she’s made since her arrival in Edinburgh, and in an effort to grip onto what she holds most dear she believes she must sacrifice her love for Jake.

Returning to the States for her senior year, Charley struggles to find peace and happiness. While everyone else seems to be finding themselves in college, Charley is terrified that, along with almost everything else that’s important to her, she’s lost herself.

While friends and family deal with their own tumultuous lives, there is one person resolved to uncover the reason behind Charley’s sudden defection and unhappiness. Refusing to give up without a fight, Jake believes he is the only one who can truly understand what Charley is going through, and this time he’s determined to prove he’s there for her no matter what obstacles are thrown in their way.

However, as Charley strives to make it through the biggest personal journey of her life thus far, there is no guarantee that the woman she is becoming will still need Jake as much as the girl she once was did...
4 Smoldering Stars

Review by Lisa Kane

This is the sequel to Into the Deep. At the end of the first book, Charley and Jake had finally resolved their differences and were together after their 4 year separation. Jake had broken up with Melissa and wanted to fix things with Charley; to right the wrongs that he committed. Unfortunately,  Charley's family doesn't want to see her back with Jake; they are the ones who were left picking up the pieces of what was left of her life after Jake dumped her and moved away. She has a huge argument with her sister and the two are both so stubborn, neither wants to be the one to give in and call the other. Charley's parents are angry about Jake, but are going off the deep end because Charley not only told them she is back with Jake, but she doesn't want to go to law school, she wants to go to the police academy instead.
This novel's format is told in alternating chapters switching from the past to the present, just as it was in the first book. Sometimes this can break up the continuity of the story, but it still works. In the present, Jake and Charley are broken up again! Grrrr...and something horrible has happened in Charley's family. But it is not revealed what happened, just that whatever it is, it caused her to break up with Jake. The poor guy has no idea what is going on, and Charley will not open up to him.
Meanwhile, the secondary characters are still having significant roles in this story, same as in the first one. Jake's friends are still actively pursuing their music careers with their Indie rock band, The Stolen. Beck is still back and forth with Charley's best friend, Claudia, and there is a ton of unresolved issues with them. Melissa, Jake's ex, is still her same old passive/aggressive self. She seems to be friendly to Charley, when in reality, she is one claw away from a cat fight just waiting to happen. Lowe is still hung up on Charley, but is respectful of Jake, even though he and Charley aren't together.
Charley really frustrated me in this book. She creates a lot of her own drama. Had she talked to her sister when they had their blow out, the issues with her family would not have escalated as they did. I really didn't understand her reaction to the tragic event that happened to her family. She hurt them and Jake over and over and I was losing patience with her and her inability to confront conflict-her fight or flight instincts leave something to be desired. Jake tries so hard to fix his relationship with her, but he doesn't seem to do anything right.
Except for wanting to shake some sense into Charley, I enjoyed this story. I have to admit I would like to see Charley and Jake's lives a little further down the road, as there are still unresolved issues. Young has created a strong cast of characters with this series, they have such colorful personalities, I would welcome spin offs for several of them, namely Beck and Claudia or poor Lowe, I'd like to see him appreciated for more than the lickable sex on a stick he seems to be. Here's hoping I'll get my wish.    

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