Bounce by Noelle August
Book Three of the Boomerang series
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.
Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”
After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.
Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.
What I Liked:
This book was a disappointment. I thought this would be my favorite of the series, because I was so intrigued by Grey since we "met" him earlier in the series. I thought Boomerang was okay, not great. I liked Rebound. This book was supposed to be my favorite, but instead, it is my least favorite of the series.
Grey is roped into working for his older brother Adam when he throws a party while Adam is away, and trashes his brother's house. Somehow, Grey ends up helping with the movie that Adam's company is filming. The male lead isn't available on audition day, so Grey fills in... which is how he and Skyler end up sharing a steamy kiss. Skyler is the newly cast lead of said film, and she can't stop thinking about the live sexual tension between her and Grey. Grey is on-set all time, acting as an assistant for the male lead of the film. With all that is going on in his personal life, does Grey need to be trying to get with the pretty girl who has the interest of the young director and Adam's friend, Brooks? Maybe not, but Grey and Skyler have off-the-charts chemistry, and the ball is in Skyler's court.
What did I actually like about this book? The beginning started really well. Super strong, very engaging, I couldn't flip the pages fast enough. Grey and Skyler meet just before the audition, by chance, when both of them want to get some fresh air. Both of them are interested in each other at this point. Even better is when Grey has to step in for the male lead (Garrett, I believe his name is?), and Grey acts out a scene with each hopeful girl. He is bored and hates doing it, until Skyler's audition. They make it through the entire scene, which involves a rather steamy kiss, steamier than on the script.
Things were going great at this point! I can't remember exactly at where this point was in the book, but I think it was around one-fifth in? So there was still a loooong way to go, but I was really feeling this book!
I absolutely adore Grey. I was on "his side" throughout the entire book, both relating to Skyler, and his mother. He has a lot of issues going, and he is a lot more than a drunk who likes to party. His "mother" is actually Adam's mother. Grey's stepmother. Grey and Madeline have things to work through, but Grey is stubborn and won't talk to her. Grey's band is doing so well, and it is what is driving him. He hates working for Adam, but likes what is going on between Skyler and him (though it honestly felt like nothing was going on - but I'll get to that in a minute). I really, really like Grey. I think he gave Skyler one too many chances, and she doesn't deserve him.
Moving on, proceed with caution: possible spoilers ahead.
What I Did Not Like:
I. Did. Not. Like. Skyler. And I know some people are going to be upset with me when I list my reasons why. The biggest thing I didn't like about her was her wishy-washy, vacillating behavior. There is somewhat of a love triangle in this story, and I find none of it okay. So I guess I'll make sure you all know that I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES and this is ENTIRELY an Alyssa issue. So if you love them, like them, aren't bothered by them, good for you.
Grey and Skyler's "thing" dominate the first third or so of the book. But Skyler keeps pushing Grey away, even though it is very clear that their desire and emotions are mutual (I'll get to the emotions part in a minute, too). Brooks shows a bit of interest in her (remember, he is the director of the film, and Adam's friend), and she is always over him. She hangs out with him, goes to him when she and Grey part ways roughly. She kisses him, goes on dates with him, lets him in. I don't know what the deal with this is, but I am not okay with this. Meanwhile, she and Grey still maintain... something. Their intimacy is SUPER limited (Brooks gets more action than Grey does, after that initial kiss between Grey and Skyler).
Which leads me to my next complaint - Grey and Skyler have no relationship. They sprout feelings fast than you can crack an egg. They kiss once and suddenly he's all caveman-jealous of her and Brooks, and she feels guilty for being with Brooks. Their feelings are so deeply rooted after like, two interactions (Skyler and Grey's). Insta-love much? I can't even say it was insta-lust because it's not like they're only thinking about the kiss, or each other's bodies. It seemed too soon and too rushed for them to "in love" with each other.
And then they play the friend card. Or, Skyler does, so she can engage in a ridiculous love triangle with Brooks. I think one of her friends even points out the love triangle, using those exact two words. Not even a little okay, when you think you have strong feelings for someone else (again, HOW does she have those strong feelings already?!).
I suppose it's entirely possibly to have that strong of feelings towards someone else, mutually (Grey and Skyler). Maybe. But I wanted to FEEL this, EXPERIENCE this, SEE this. Don't just tell me in words that he's jealous of Brooks or she feels guilty about being with Brooks (but still does it anyway, wtf, wishy-washy much?).
Skyler and Grey could have used many more interactions. So many. They kiss once, and that's basically the book, in terms of intimacy. I personally didn't like this, and then there's the love triangle. That just made me lose all interest, as soon as Skyler started dating Brooks (and pretty quickly, too). I'm sure these things happen in real life all the time, but that doesn't mean that I personally want to read about it. You feel me?
So. Little relationship development between Skyler and Grey. Heck, at one point, I wanted Skyler and Brooks to get it on and get married or whatever because THEIR relationship was very well-developed! Also Skyler does not deserve Grey. He waits and waits for her, even does The Grand Gesture that the male protagonist ALWAYS DOES (why in the world can't the female protagonist ever be "wrong", and have to do The Grand Gesture? Seriously!?). Skyler... no. I was never, ever "on her side" in this book. And I know feminists are going to come after me with pepper spray and handbags. But look - I'm as much of a feminist as another feminist. And being a feminist is all about embracing your decisions as a woman. Well, Skyler couldn't freaking MAKE a decision - about who she actually liked, her weight, her mother. And in any case, my decisions wouldn't be hers, but we're both still two women, two feminists, living our lives (well, I am. Skyler is fictional). I don't like her, what she did, and I don't have to.
Not to mention that while their chemistry was popping in the beginning of the book... I was pretty turned off by the end of the book, so the one sex scene fell flat. And there are like, two make-out scenes in this book, INCLUDING the first one. Romance? Naaah. The romance was so poorly written and basically not even there. It was choppy and split up and not romantic at all, especially since the "romantic pair" were barely around each other for like, 60% of the book (the second 60%, not the first).
Again, I realize that these things happen in real life, and that some people have no issues with these things. But they are things that this girl does not prefer to read, and this is MY review of what I did and didn't like.
Would I Recommend It:
I absolutely canNOT recommend this book on a good conscience. I thought Boomerang was meh, okay, and Rebound was decent, slightly better. But this one tanked, for me. What should have been my favorite is actually one of the worst books I've read. The more I think about it, the more I disliked this book. I started with 2.5 stars, and now I'm down to 1 star. I'm frustrated and disappointed and I can't believe I put myself through this book!
1.5 stars -> rounded down to 1 star. This series, overall, is so meh. I had and have zero faith in New Adult contemporary, and this book/series did not help much, unfortunately. But I love Veronica Rossi, so I had to give her a shot.
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