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What She Reads (UK)

Now or Never - A.J. Bennett A new New Adult novel that will keep you guessing and needing to turn the page. A.J. Bennet's Now or Never is a story of seeking freedom...

All Grayson ‘Grace / Gray’ Alexander wants is to finally get away from her jealous crazed fiancé. The question is, why did she even agree to marry him? He didn’t put the ring on her finger because he actually wanted to marry her, no; he only put it on to show other people that she is not available. So when Josh comes home one day going crazy calling her names and accusing her of cheating while at the Library she has had enough. Standing up to him seems like a good idea at the time but when he shoves her up against the wall with his hands around her neck it IS the last time.

Grayson decides to flee during the night while Josh is on his night shift and out of paranoia throws her mobile phone out of the window in fear of him having put in a tracking device and following her. After staying in a sleazy motel for one night she decides to head back home to her mother’s so she can get herself back on her feet. Even better yet her twin sister Luna has moved back from Florida.

On her way back into town she is intercepted by Derrick a guy after her attention after a minor encounter creating high chemistry in the local Starbucks. Grayson doesn’t want to get into anything serious and accepts Derrick’s number; unfortunately Derrick is on her brothers Special Forces Team to whom has put a “NO GO” zone on his little sisters.


Grayson as a character is very relatable; I’ve been in a smaller but quite similar situation to hers in regarding an obsessed love and understand her lifestyle of not really enjoying the club scene. It’s almost sad that she has spent three precious years of her life on someone who doesn’t really appreciate all she is and who has the need to hurt her mentally and physically scarring her so much it takes her a while to leave him. Although this was only a small area of the novel I thought it was put across just enough, enough for us to see Grayson and understand her a bit more.

What some people might dislike about the story is what I liked, for instance Grayson went from having an abusive relationship of 2-3 years to having an open relationship and gone from being with 1 partner to 4. With the persuasion from her twin sister Luna, she is almost pressured to go out and seek attention from the heavily populated military town, because the men won't be there tomorrow. So she does just that, she is only young after all.

Although some people may not believe that someone who has been physically abused would actually seek out sexual partners it would probably more common than if they didn't. For instance in Grayson's case she finds control while she has sex and actually uses that to her advantage at the beginning of the book with Josh and just like people who have depression or eating disorders when someone has gone through a trauma no matter how little or big it is that person on the receiving end just wants to find a release and gain back control in their life. This is exactly what she does.

When Grayson finally gives into her desires to be with Derrick things though they seem rather easy become more complicated. Grayson is determined not to get into a serious relationship so soon after breaking up with Josh and is just seeking a release and of course to get Derrick out of her system. So when she starts feeling more for Derrick will she be able to cope with the secrets he's kept from her?

I feel this story is about Grayson and less about the "relationship" she's carrying out which Derrick which we always see at the forefront on NA Novels. It's refreshing to not be bombarded with two POV's and to generally know about our main character.

THE COVER

I love this cover, it's is not the typical kissy face New Adult cover. In fact it doesn't even look like it should be for a New Adult novel, I see a more Dystopian / Sci-Fi feel to it even right down to the title font. Saying that even though it's not something we would see we can still see the vulnerability and raw delicacy of Grayson.