Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 10/16/12
Source: Received from publisher via Edelweiss
Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.Taking Chances is a story that will reel you in and break your heart. But it also gives you quite the dramatic and unconventional love story.
Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.
She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.
Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.
Harper is a girl who has never experienced a traditional family lifestyle. She grew up on an Army base with her widower father, a distant and overprotective man, and his soldiers, who were like older brothers to her. Harper decides she needs to get away, and goes to college across the country. She is immediately befriended by her roomie Bree, and is introduced to life as a co-ed. This means parties at the house Bree's brother Chase lives in with his buddies. Harper feels an immediate, intense attraction to Chase, but with his womanizing ways, he quickly scares her pff. His roommate Brandon, however, is exactly right for Harper. Brandon is kind, patient, and gorgeous. He and Harper quickly begin a relationship, yet she still harbors feelings for Chase. The triangle soon comes to a head, and the passion that ensues changes the lives of all three forever. What results is heartbreak, shock, pain, love that goes beyond expectation, friendship and family.
To make you understand what makes Taking Chances intense and shocking would require me to spoil the story. And this aspect is what has also made a lot of readers (according to reviews I've read) angry. And I get their feelings, to some extent, but then again, I don't. I feel uncomfortable when readers get angry when characters in books make mistakes, as if that doesn't happen in real life. Harper makes some really, really big mistakes. But she is an eighteen-year old girl with almost no life experience. She's never had anyone teach her how to handle her intense feelings and emotions. She's torn between two very appealing guys, and just doesn't know how to handle it. After a tragedy, Harper decides to make a life, in a unconventional, yet loving way. This seems to have angered readers, as well. To this I say, you don't know. Something very similar to what happens to Harper, happened in my own family. It's horrible. It's painful. And sadly, it's life. No person, especially someone in Harper's situation, should have to endure it. I know this seems vague and odd to people who haven't read Taking Chances. But to those who have, whether you agree with me or not, absolutely know what I'm saying here.
I will say there were a couple of issues I had with the book. For starters, I felt like many of the characters handle some very difficult situations a little too well. It was nice for Harper, and I loved the support she received, but in real life, I feel it would be a bit more dramatic. Also, the plot could used a lot of tightening. There was a secondary plot with an old friend of Harper's that added nothing significant to the plot other than unnecessary drama and length. And really, there was a lot in the last twenty percent that could have been left out, and still given a sweet, thorough ending.
Having said that, I truly enjoyed Taking Chances. I stayed up until 3am reading it, and had to force myself to close my eyes. It was addictive, and so freaking emotional. I was prepared by my cousin for the shock, and I was so glad. I still cried like a baby. I'm still a bit distraught. Taking Chances is a story that I don't think I can possibly forget.
"If you think acting like you don't exist isn't the hardest thing I've ever done, you're wrong. I hate not talking to you. I hate not bickering like we're an old married couple and I hate not spending every day right next to you. But this is how it has to be. Brandon hates me, and Princess, trust me when I say he has every reason to. So if after everything I've done to you, you'll still even consider being my friend, then it has to be Sundays only." ~ eARC, 29%
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