Sunday, August 11, 2013


Precious ThingsSeries: Stand alone
Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Stephanie Parent
Publication Date: 6/4/13
Format: ebook
Pages: 200
Source: Received from author for review
Rating: 4 stars

Isabelle Andrews isn’t supposed to be here. She isn’t supposed to be a freshman at Hartford Community College, she isn't supposed to be living at home and working at her dad’s failing bakery, and she definitely isn’t supposed to be taking Intro to Electronic Music Production, a class that will get her nowhere toward her goal of an English Lit Ph.D. by age twenty-five. But when her dad’s latest business fiasco eats up her college fund, Hartford Community College is exactly where Isabelle finds herself—and thanks to her late enrollment, she doesn’t even get to choose her classes. Stuck with Electronic Music and way-too-easy English courses, Isabelle is determined to wallow in all the misery she feels entitled to.

But community college brings some unexpected benefits…like the fact that a certain overworked, over-scheduled Electronic Music professor hands over most of his duties to his teaching assistant. His tall, green-eyed, absolutely gorgeous teaching assistant. When TA Evan Strauss discovers Isabelle’s apathy toward electronic music—and, well, all music—he makes it his mission to convert her. The music Evan composes stirs something inside Isabelle, but she can’t get involved—after all, she’ll be transferring out as soon as possible.

Still, no matter how tightly Isabelle holds on to her misery, she finds it slipping away in the wake of all Hartford Community offers: new friendships, a surprisingly cool poetry professor, and most of all, Evan. But Evan’s dream of owning his own music studio is as impractical as Isabelle’s dad’s bakery, and when Evan makes a terrible decision, everything Isabelle has gained threatens to unravel. Soon Isabelle discovers that some of the most important lessons take place outside the classroom…and that in life, as in Evan’s favorite Depeche Mode song, the most precious things can be the hardest to hold on to.

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need" 
   -The Rolling Stones

Isabelle Andrews isn't happy. She had plans for a prestigious university, but with no way to swing the cost, she's stuck at the local community college. To make matters worse, late enrollment leaves Isabelle attending classes she has no interest in, such as poetry and Electronic Music. But it's in these classes that she is challenged; by the Professor who sees her creative potential, challenged by the thought of making new friends, challenged by the Teacher's Assistant who looks at her like he can read her thoughts. It's here, in the last place Isabelle wanted to be, that she may find what she's always been looking for.

Now, about the guy... Evan is a Teacher's Assistant with a passion for music. He's handsome -obviously- but but is also a really good guy. There's no big mystery, no bad boy edge, no tragic past. Like Isabelle, Evan is just a typical college student, doing his best. The normality of the characters is something I truly appreciate about Precious Things. Isabelle isn't hiding a dark secret, she's not troubled or out of control. She's a girl who's trying to find her way. She's lived her life with one goal, to attend a prestigious university. She's been let down by her absent mother, and a bumbling, but well-meaning dad. Isabelle needs to find her voice.

In the midst of the soul searching, Isabelle starts to fall for Evan. With a guy as great a Evan, that's no surprise. They had some really, really steamy moments, but nothing too graphic at all. And though it is a romantic story, Precious Things isn't the story of a girl who wants to win the guy, or about the guy who will do anything to win his girl. What it is, is a story about a girl who just may find out that if she slows down and appreciates what's right in front of her, it may be exactly what she's been looking for all along. And if she just so happens to win a worthy guy along the way? BONUS.

This is the third book of Parent's that I've read, and by now I can say that I truly do enjoy her books and style. Her writing is inviting, her characters have depth, and her stories are thoughtful and charming.

Favorite Quote:

  "Yeah," Evan responds, "but have you done this on a bridge?" We've reached the midpoint of the miniature wooden structure, and he places one hand atop mine on the railing, the other against my shoulder, and leans in for what I'm expecting to be a kiss...
  But instead he nips my bottom lip, lightly, first on the left corner, and then the right. Then the top lip, with just the slightest bit more teeth, but still oh-so-gently, first on the left and then on the right. Finally he presses his closed lips softly against mine, and then, so quickly I barely have a chance to register the pressure, he pulls away.
  It's just about the sexiest.
  I've ever experienced in my life.   ~ebook, 53%

  Words can be violent, can tear us apart; but it's the words we keep inside, the unspoken ones, that do the most damage of all.  ~ebook, 96%

Purchase Precious Things

About the author:
Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.

Connect with Stephanie at:
Blog  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads  |  Amazon



  1. Great review & quotes. Very persuasive :)

  2. I loved this book! Your review makes me want to read it again!

  3. a story about a girl who just may find out that if she slows down and appreciates what's right in front of her, it may be exactly what she's been looking for all along. And if she just so happens to win a worthy guy along the way? BONUS

    I love this book already. College is about self discovery transitioning from young adult to new adult so a centered heroine is a really appealing characteristic for a book.


  4. Oh nice! It sounds sweet and not the typical NA. Great review.

  5. Well,this does look really good
    First time I hear of the author
    GREAt review,as always
    Your reader,

  6. Gah, I haven't read a book by her yet but this is the one I want to read the most. I've heard really good things, I just need t find/make time.

  7. Characters with depth and inviting writing style appeal to me , so glad you enjoyed this one!

  8. Oh great review Andrea! I've been eyeing this one for awhile, but wasn't sure how it would be! I definitely want to read it now! And OMG that quote! Yeah, I'm going to like Evan. :D

  9. Love the lyrics in the beginning! Seems very suitable to this book. I like that this book isn't all about needing the guy. Sounds like a refreshing read.

  10. Precious Things sounds wonderful, Andrea. One of the reasons I love NA (or books with characters this age) is watching the characters find their way in life. I think I'll enjoy getting to know Isabelle...and Evan. :) Thanks for sharing.

  11. Sounds like a quiet romance that just kind of creeps into your heart. Evan sounds like someone I need to meet. Lovely review, Andrea! :)

  12. I really want to read this one. It sounds so good. Isabelle sounds like a very complex character. Great review.

  13. I saw this on GR before and I thought the premise was really cute. I enjoy contemporary books, so I'll definitely have to give this one a try! I'm glad you enjoyed this, Andrea! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  14. Wow! Beautiful review! I can see how this was a refreshing change of pace with no angst, or drama, and just an ordinary guy and girl! Love it! Those quotes were perfect! The first one was oh so sexy, and the second one was very profound, and true!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  15. I just recently read this, too! I really enjoyed it, I love her writing style, too. Great review!


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