Author: Riley Jean
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Drama, Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Length: 700 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free electronic version of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I find it very interesting that in the introduction the author tells readers that she had never intended to release this book. “It began as a creative outlet and turned into a hobby.” This fact appeals to me. When an author writes for the sake of writing and not for the sake of trying to cater to what they think potential readers want, I believe they produce a superior story. Too often the books I see on library or bookstore shelves are written with the goal of sales in mind rather than for the pure enjoyment of a good book. Riley Jean’s introduction concludes with her saying, “So to each and every reader, I just want to say that I feel incredibly humbled that you have allowed me to share my story with you.” Reading this made me even more eager to read her book.
Page one made me burst out laughing. Why? Because I have actually experienced exactly what she writes about. I have very long, naturally curly hair and I cannot count the number of drunken “OMG, girlie! I loooove your hair!” comments that I have received over the years. She states: “Fact: Drunk girls are fascinated by curly hair.”
This book started out one way and then changed. If you were only to read the first few chapters you would assume you know exactly how the story will proceed. You would be wrong.
Scarlett (or Scar as she prefers to be called) has had some bad breakups. Throughout high school she had always been the quiet good girl. The one who believed in happily ever after. But, that was before she learned the truth.
Now she has cut and dyed her long blond hair and styled it into a shorter, black more emo-type style. Gone are the days of cute outfits and manicured nails. Now her nails are neglected and black and grey are her standard color choices for clothing. She has built a brick wall around her heart and vowed to never let anyone in again.
The thing is, that Scar has a valid reason for wanting to protect herself and she isn’t about to share that reason with anyone.
When she meets Vance and learns that he is in a loving, long-term relationship she tries to keep him at a distance. Despite her best efforts, they end up becoming friends.
But, can this emotionally damaged girl ever really open up to anyone again? And what was it that happened to her to cause her to lose all faith in love and happily-ever-after?
This is a terrific story targeted at “New Adult” readers. This is not a young adult novel. It takes place after high school graduation when teenagers are on the cusp of adulthood and are struggling to find their place in the world.
Riley Jean has shown that she has an uncanny talent for getting into the hearts and minds of her characters and translating that understanding onto the page.
Readers will find themselves drawn into Scar’s world and they will find themselves invested in her life. The characters feel so real that you will find yourself wondering if this is truth rather than fiction. That is the mark of a talented writer and I believe that this debut novel is destined to launch her on a career path where writing stops being a hobby and becomes her full-time vocation.
Despite some minor editing errors I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Lexi always said never to trust girls at parties like these, that everything was a competition for attention, and if it meant having an advantage, no one would hesitate to stab you with a stiletto.”
“It’s a confusing age, that time between adolescence and adulthood.”
“Everyone is struggling to dream big when we have little.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Riley Jean works as an Executive Assistant to the CFO of a Fortune 100 company. At night she transform into an aspiring author. USE SOMEBODY is her first novel.
To learn more about her visit https://www.goodreads.com/rileyjeanreads or visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/rileyjeanreads