Author: Julia Swift & Andrew Landis
Pages: Kindle; 174
Release Date: July 4, 2013
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy contemporary romance
Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
Sasha, a shy, 15-year-old girl who hides from the world, almost dies in a car crash and vows that if she survives, she will be bold and live life to the fullest. Her newfound courage is tested when she meets Will, who just moved to her Air Force desert town after his journalist father’s disappearance. Will is fascinated by Sasha’s brush with and secret knowledge of death.
Sasha and Will push each other to take chances and break out of their sheltered suburban world. But will they discover there is a difference between being bold and being stupid before they put themselves, or someone else, in danger?
First off, I was totally immersed in the setting of this book. Bold takes place in the High Desert. Can you guess who grew up there? Yup, me. So when Will was complaining about the heat, the dust, and all manner of other desert related things, I was right there along with him. I felt connected to this story on a whole other level, simply because I could easily picture every scene.
I also really enjoyed both Will and Sasha as characters. They felt realistic to me. They made normal teenage decisions, and had normal teenage issues. What set them apart were the things they were facing. I couldn't help but smile as Sasha fought against her own mortality, and tried to live each day to the fullest. Watching a quiet, shy girl wage an inner battle to break out of her shell was wonderful. In the same vein, following along as Will tried to learn who he really wanted to be was equally amazing. I adored these two, and thought they were an excellent match.
Which is why I really wished for more romance. Bold is billed as contemporary romance, but it feels like more of a coming-of-age story. True, there was romance. Still, I feel like it was greatly understated compared to the life lessons these two learn, both together and separately. The story revolves around them growing, learning boundaries, and coming to terms with who they really are. If this is what you're looking to read, you're in luck! If you're looking for straight romance, you might want to look elsewhere.
I also felt like the ending was rushed. The first half of the book moves along at a leisurely pace. I was treated to the alternating points of view, as Will and Sasha slowly got to know one another and themselves. Then, suddenly, things picked up pace towards the middle of the book. So much happened in the last half that I felt a bit winded at the end. Dialogue felt more rushed, and not as realistic as in the beginning. I was left feeling lost and wishing I had more time to get to know these characters. I didn't feel everything was wrapped up. Be warned, there are a few grammatical errors in this book. It doesn't take away from the story as a whole, but I always notice and I know others do too.
Final verdict? I'm honestly on the fence about Bold. While it had its moments, there really wasn't enough here to make this a glowing read for me.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.