Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

NOTE: I received this eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Gosh, there was only one reason I requested this book in the first place. The cover. These two.. Pepe and Stella who have made an appearance on JLA's Lux covers... I don't know, I just had the feeling that if they're on the cover, the book's gonna rock.

And it did.

Stir Me Up rocked my world. I didn't expect it, though like I said I hoped and my gut told me I would. Still. I had my doubts until I actually sat down and started reading. I was consumed by the words. Seriously.

The drama, the emotions, the loss, they were like a tornado let loose. I found myself wanting more the further I got. I wanted more of the romance, more of the depth behind each character, more of the figure-out-what-you-want-out-of-life stuff that was going on.

Stir Me Up lets us into the life of Cami, a senior in high-school who wants to be a chef after she graduates. Her dad however, tries to push her to go to college. To have a back up plan, he says, but Cami wants to hear none of it. She's determined she knows what she wants and is prepared to defend her choices. I really liked that air of independence in her. The confidence, the certainty. You'd think that she was just a stubborn cocky brat who didn't care about wise advise, but she's not. When her dad explained his reasons why he wanted something else for her, she actually took her time to research what a full time chef actually does; how much time she'd actually have left for herself and her future family; what kind of work place relations she could expect from colleagues and so on. I think that was a super grown up thing to do, and for it I admire her.

I also think that Cami was one very brave girl, speaking her mind and feelings honestly. I liked how she didn't lead Luke on when she felt her feelings for him change. I liked how she took fate in her hands and moved in on Julian. I liked how she made everyone stir up and stop wining about things. It was her passion to live and enjoy life, I think, that made everyone really get into it.

Especially Julian. He was a war hero from Afghanistan. During his mission a bomb blew the vehicle he was in and he was left with one leg missing from the knee down. Sad, I know, but the thing is, even in his pain, he wouldn't leave his comrades, trying to help even when it was obvious he could do nothing to save them. Julian thought he was no hero, but I know otherwise. Cami knew it too and was determined to make him see it.

Too bad he was a stubborn brat. The guilt he felt for being the sole survivor gave him nightmares. It also made him feel undeserving of any attention. And to top it all, he expressively didn't want to be taken care of by Cami. Because in his condition, how could he ever be the person she'd want to love? So, to escape her, he gives her attitude. He's really nasty and mean, hoping it would drive her away.

It's all a war of stubbornness I guess. Who would give in first, then, you wonder? I'm not saying. But I can tell you this - you would want to find out for yourself.

My rating is: