Series: Endless Summer #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on August 22nd 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself-gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she's already set her sights on uber-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.
Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.
Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions...but there's more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake's headed straight to juvie, but Annie's more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, sexual situations, adult language, and an intense bad boy hero who will melt your heart.
I’m sure this will shock absolutely no one, but I love love love reading young adult books. Experiencing those feelings of first love, those warm fuzzies, the butterflies and nerves, I genuinely enjoy every second of it. And even a lot of times I like the endings a lot more than the new adult counterparts that I read. I don’t need a diamond ring and a baby in a storyline to satisfy me as a reader. If an author can nail emotions right, I’m perfectly content without all that physical stuff too. That’s another thing about YA. More often than not, there isn’t explicit sexual scenes or at least they’re fade to black. This forces the author to focus on the emotional attachments instead of physical. Sometimes it’s a nice change up from the everyday sex crazed culture that we live in.
“Four days into camp, and I’d come to some realizations.
Summer camp is just as clichéd as I wished it to be. And this wasn’t an insult, either. I liked the fact that the camp director was sort of odd and crazy yet lovable. That Nancy, the lady who ran the arts and crafts building, believed she was a hippie and wore flowing skirts and flowers in her hair. That all the boys checked out all the girls and the little kids ran circles around us every night no matter what we were trying to do, and that our bathroom looked like a girl bomb exploded inside and that our counselor Hannah left every night after lights-out so she could go hook up with Brian, one of the counselors for the teen boys’ cabins.”
When starting Daring The Bad Boy, I was ecstatic. As an older teenager, for two and a half months every year I worked at a summer camp. I lived day in and day out with my friends and know first hand exactly what this camp experience is all about. Monica brings back all of these feelings of camp within the first few chapters and not only was I reading about Annie’s story, but I was having flashbacks of my own. These memories are priceless and Monica writes them in the exact same way.
I really enjoyed the change in Jake’s character. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Annie but he was a nice solid addition to the story that was extremely beneficial to the plot and the heroine. Also his struggle with the forbidden love aspect was well done. The worst thing that can happen at camp is a camper/counsellor relationship, so he knew exactly what he was risking.
She nodded, looking determined. “I want to.”
“You’re nuts!” Kelsey yelled, and Annie flashed her a dirty look.
“I am not.”
“You kinda are,” I said, low enough so only she could hear.
“I’ll only do it if you jump with me,” she said.
My eyes widened and I popped my mouth open, not sure what I should say.
“I trust you,” she added, her gaze never flinching from mine. “The only way I can do it is if you’re holding my hand. I know you won’t let go.”
“I won’t,” I said. “I promise.”
Writing wise, my criticism would be that is tends to read young. But the weirder part was it wasn’t bad all the way through. The beginning was understandable, but the farther the story progressed, the characters acted younger and younger. I know it’s a young adult book, but there are tons that I find no problem with as an adult reader. This one feels most like it’s directed for actual 14, 15 and 16 year olds to read, not really much beyond that. Because of this, there were times that I tended to skim or get a bit bored. Other than the age thing, the story kind of started to fall apart in the second half. It’s like small twists were randomly thrown in because we didn’t know what else to put there. But then these were haphazardly dealt with and tended to make the story messier (and not in a good way).
The climax of the novel could’ve gone in a different direction and had a much stronger impact. It was like all of a sudden Annie started going psycho paranoid clinger girlfriend and I was instantly turned off. What the heck happened for her character to turn practically over night? Then demand answers? This was a major turn off. I 100% agreed with Jake, the hero, AND how he dealt with things. He was completely justified, the heroine on the other hand, was not.
Overall, I’m sad to say this wasn’t my favourite young adult story ever. I think both the plot and character development needed some more … Development, and the ending needed to slow down. It seemed like all of a sudden everything was trying to come to a point and conclusion all at once. I’ve always enjoyed Monica’s work and was so glad the first half of this book made me incredibly happy, but then the second half fell a little flat for me. Because of this, I’m rating it as 3 stars.
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.
Great. The rudest boy at camp just so happened to save my life. I hoped he wasn’t one of those types who expected me to be indebted to him for the rest of the summer or whatever.
I looked away and coughed, water filling my mouth so I had no choice but to avert my head and spit it out. My cheeks felt hot, and I couldn’t believe I was embarrassed, but old habits died hard, I guess.
He said nothing, just grabbed my hand and walked/ dragged me the rest of the way out of the water, until we were standing on the sandy beach. I heard feet thumping on the dock and I glanced up, watched in disbelief as the majority of my so-called friends and the boys from B7B ran off the dock. Not a one of them had stayed behind to see if I was okay.
Not a single one of them.
Were they scared they’d get in trouble? Would Jacob rat me out? He was the director’s nephew, after all. I needed to say something to him. I didn’t want to get in trouble. I didn’t want to be sent home, and I’m pretty sure he had the power to make both things happen.
Before I could say anything, though, Jacob grabbed my shoulders and gave them a little shake so I’d look up at him. His eyes were dark, his mouth set in a grim line, and he bent his knees a little so our gazes were even. “You really all right?” he asked, his tone firm.
I’d quit coughing, but my voice still came out slightly wheezy. “I’m fine.” My bones felt like jelly and I thought I might pass out from lack of oxygen, but yeah. I was great.
He squeezed my bare shoulders with his big hands, his fingers sliding over my thin bikini straps, and I realized I’d never stood this close to a boy before with so little clothing on. A shiver moved through me, and I tried to take a step back for much-needed distance, but he wouldn’t let me go.
“That was really stupid, jumping off the dock like that,” he said, his deep voice now full of irritation.
“Trust me, I wasn’t trying to impress you.” I couldn’t believe I’d said that. But I was offended that he basically just called me stupid.
“No kidding.” He released his hold on my shoulders and walked a few steps away, snatching up something off the beach. “And I definitely wasn’t impressed.”
I made an incredulous sound, one I usually saved for the privacy of my bedroom when no one else was around, and he sent me a look. I was reluctant to admit it was sort of a cute look, his dark eyebrows raised, as if he dared me to contradict him.
So I did.
“Are you going to write me up?” When he still said nothing, I continued. “You said you would earlier.” I glanced around, noticed that the dock was completely empty. Where was Kelsey, anyway? Did she leave me, too? “You want me to?” “N-no. O-of c-course n-not.” My teeth had started to chatter. I didn’t know if it was from the cold or the shock, or a combination of both, but I couldn’t make them stop.
“Did you bring a towel with you at least?” Jacob asked. When I shook my head, he muttered something that sounded distinctly like a curse word starting with the letter F. The sympathetic look he shot my way was surprising as he came back toward me, his hand thrust outward, a ball of fabric clutched in it. “Take this.”
I didn’t want him feeling sorry for me. And that didn’t look like a towel. “Wh-what i-is it?” I wrapped my arms around my middle, my fingers brushing against my goosebump-covered torso. I couldn’t stop shaking. It was like I had no control over my body.
He sighed and glanced to his left, then his right, like he wanted to make sure there was no one around before he stepped forward and stretched the dark fabric between his hands. “Don’t move,” he ordered, his tone bossy as he yanked the fabric over my head.
I jerked against his first touch, but otherwise I remained still. It was a giant hoodie that he slipped over my head. Warm and soft and a little sandy from when he’d abandoned it on the beach. The fabric clung to my damp skin and the hem fell to my thighs, covering me from my neck to almost my knees. I shoved my arms in the sleeves but they were so long, they swallowed my hands completely, even when I stretched my fingers out.
He stepped closer and reached behind my head, pulling the hood up so that it covered my soaked hair. Then he grabbed hold of the strings at the sweatshirt’s neck and tugged on them, so the hood cinched around my face tightly, his gaze never leaving mine. “Better?”
I nodded and took a deep breath, the shivering starting to subside, thank goodness. “Much.”
Jacob reached out and wiped one cheek, then the other, his thumb rough yet warm against my chilled skin. “You’re still wet.”
“I should p-probably take a shower.” I clamped my freezing lips shut. Why did I just say that? Showers meant naked, and I didn’t want to talk about getting naked with Jacob.