Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for STRIPPED by Brooklyn Skye. The tour is hosted by Itching For Books and you can visit the rest of the stops here. Read on for my review and a tour-wide giveaway. I also couldn’t resist posting a short excerpt.
Author: Brooklyn Skye
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Source: Author for blog tour
Genre: New Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Page Count: 345
Rating: [4/5 stars]
“I like you.” His voice is low and soft, which I don’t deserve. I look away, down the rutted parking lot.
“Don’t… waste those words on me.”
He touches my cheek. “You just need someone to show you.”
“No.” I ease back again. “I don’t. So please, Torrin, stop trying to swoop in and save me. I don’t need saving.”
College freshman Quinn Montgomery will do anything to avoid the mistake her sister made—killing herself over a boy. But when she is forced into nude modeling at a local college to support her family after a bankruptcy, she begins to crack, just enough to let Torrin, the university’s top varsity oarsman, see that the real Quinn is not as feisty and unapproachable as she wants everyone to think. But letting someone in comes at a steep cost and, it turns out, Torrin is connected to Quinn’s family in more ways than she could ever imagine. (summary from goodreads)
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you might know I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary. But I’m always on the lookout for good New Adult books, and right now, most of them are contemporary romances. When I read the summary for STRIPPED, I immediately wanted to know more, and so I thought I’d take a chance. I had to know just what drove Quinn to nude modeling to stay in college.
I’m glad I took that chance. I read STRIPPED in one sitting, because I liked the story and characters so much. The writing flows easily, the author has a good style that lets you get into Quinn’s head, and the book is nicely edited.
I don’t think Quinn is a character everyone will like. She’s … prickly. Maybe even straying into bitchy. There were times I wanted to smack her and say, WTF ARE YOU DOING, QUINN? But that made her all the more real for me. And, honestly, she reminded me a bit of myself, so that might be why I liked her a lot.
In STRIPPED, Quinn has a ton to deal with. There’s her sister’s suicide and her father’s job scandal. That scandal leads directly to her desperately trying to find a job to pay her college tuition, and nude modeling is the only one that pays enough. Add in Quinn’s quest to make herself unlovable by dating a jerk, and her unanswered questions about her sister’s suicide, and it’s a recipe for a dramatic, realistic book.
Quinn runs into Torrin at Pacific Rim University, a place she knows like the back of her hand, and where she’s about to start her new job as a moving statue. At first, she wants nothing to do with him, and she makes it clear. I might have swooned a little when she said this to him: “Listen, Torrin. You’re not getting into my pants. Not today. Not ever. So you can go find some other girl to charm. It won’t work on me (p. 69).”
That quoted, Torrin is one of the bright points of STRIPPED. He’s an incredibly sweet guy, and wants nothing more to help Quinn even when she continually runs away from him. I adored his character, and the sweet things he did for Quinn.
Both Quinn and Torrin have their secrets. I’m not going to spoil them for you, but I did guess them long before the reveal. I also thought the ending was a bit too neat and clean. However, I didn’t mind too much. I liked Quinn’s journey and growth; she matured during the book, overcoming many of the naive notions she had at the start. STRIPPED was, for me, about the messiness of real life, and how it really isn’t as good as you think it’s going to be when you’re a kid.
I recommend STRIPPED if you’re looking for a New Adult book that talks about real life messiness, and the difficulties of transitioning from a teenager to an adult, and getting over the idea that everything’s perfect and easy. I saw on the author’s blog that there’s a novella coming, from Torrin’s point of view, and I can’t wait to check that out.
I picked this excerpt from the beginning of STRIPPED, right from Chapter 1. It’s a conversation between Quinn and her roommate, Nikki. The last line is my favorite.
“Any luck on the job search?” Another book propped up. I stare at our sad, gray ceiling. “I still can’t believe you have to get a job. It should be illegal to make freshmen work and try to graduate. Child abuse. Like little-kids-in-the-field illegal.”
My head sways. We both know the alternative—move back home and become Community College Quinn.
Hiding the shake in my lying voice behind a casual shrug, I say, “You know the dry cleaning shop over on Del Sol? The one in that beat-up looking shopping center—Steamers?”
She flips open a book, skims the page then tosses it back to the floor.
“Dry cleaning?” she says with a glance to the pile of dirty clothes beside my bed. “Quinn, you’re the messiest person I know. Do you even know how to do laundry?”
“Yes, I know how to do laundry.”
“News to me. Good thing there’s no aptitude test for dry cleaning interviews. You would’ve failed epically.”
I blink, my new contacts scratching the inside of my eyelids. Good thing there’s not much to standing naked before a classroom of art students either. I can’t afford to fail.
Let’s talk about it:
What do you think about New Adult? Yay or nay?
One autographed copy of the book, a printed glass & a signed 8″ x 10″ cover of the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Giveaway is tour-wide
About the author:
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. Her Best Selling New Adult debut, STRIPPED, is out NOW! Represented by Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary Agency.