Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present… – Goodreads
This series gets better and better. Honestly it does. While I was wading through bad New Adult this series was the gem in the rough. When I finished book two in the series, I quickly went to my public library overdrive account, borrowed this book and then read it in one sitting. What was fascinating to me was how not only did McCarthy weave together these characters and this story, but also how much I started to care. I’m not saying that these are amazing stories that will change the world, because they aren’t. But in the NA genre, they are that true gem in the rough, and let me tell you there is a lot of rough.
This is the story of Robin, a girlfriend from the first two books who started to go further into the background and we quickly found out why. She slept with one of the other three girls boyfriends. She is traumatized, heartbroken and decides to change her ways. Without telling anyone why, which leads all of her friends to worry about her. One of the only people who doesn’t worry about Robin, is Phoenix, who meets Robin at his cousin’s home. Where this story begins to differ from the previous two is that it is told from dual perspectives. It was interesting to not only get in the head of the girl, but also the boy. Particularly because Phoenix has an equally fucked up background as his cousins.
Phoenix spends most of the novel not only falling in love with Robin, but also helping Robin work through her problems. And while they work well together, they also work well separately. That is one aspect I’m enjoying from NA novels is the fact that authors are working on creating characters that stand alone. They don’t need someone else to survive, although it makes everything easier, of course. Phoenix has had a fairly horrible life and has anger issues and Robin had drinking issues that she is currently working with. Everything is fine with the two and they are figuring out the relationship waters and then everything comes to ahead and it goes BOOM!
McCarthy however throughout the whole novel spends a lot of time making them human and making everything work, even the small details that don’t seem to matter in the moment. While the series has problematic aspects, I was able to overlook most of them, because when I was reading the genre, there were so many other problematic aspects I was sick of reading about.