Friday, February 28, 2014

Review | Rule {Marked Men #1}

Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover
Review by Alyssa
October 2013 by HarperAudio
10 hours
Amazon + Good Reads

"Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn't want--and the only person she's never tried to please. She isn't afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won't listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother's girl. She lives by other people's rules; he makes his own. He doesn't have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she's the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other."

-Good Reads

*This book was purchased using an Audible credit received upon signing up for a trial membership.

This review may contain spoilers - readers beware!

Also, this review will be filled with gushing, general fangirling, and will probably make no sense.

Let's get this out of the way: this was me, reading {listening to} Rule:

Okay, now that that's out of the way.

I liked enjoyed loved this book. I didn't just read Rule - I devoured it. I took a ten hour audio book and listened to it {in its entirety} in two days. At one point I was in bed, in the dark, for about four hours, while the voice actors carried me through the story through the speakers of my iHome. 

Rule was steamy, lovely, funny, emotional, at times raw... and just a great book for you fellow New Adult lovers out there.

Shaw Landon is picture perfect in nearly every way. She is a great student with a future in medicine, absolutely beautiful, kind, and willing to bend over backwards to make her loved ones happy (to a fault). On the other hand, Rule Archer seems to be Shaw's exact opposite. Rule is intimidating, covered in tattoos, and has a "I don't give a shit," attitude and isn't afraid to show it. Did I mention that he is covered in tattoos? /swoon 

Did you know that this story is told in both Shaw and Rule's perspectives? And did you know that I loved it? I did - I loved it.

Shaw has been a fixture in Rule's life ever since his twin brother, Remy, brought her home one day while the twins were in high school. Despite the fact that Remy died in a tragic accident, Shaw remained a member of the Archer family and brings Rule home with her every Sunday so that the family can have a brunch in a sad attempt to bring back the normalcy that was lost following Remy's death. Saying that the Archer family is dysfunctional is only hitting the tip of the iceberg. Rule's parents are constantly nagging him about his appearance (tats and crazy hair to boot), and about his life choices (to work as a tattoo artist - duh). After a particularly explosive brunch, Shaw and Rule both decide to distance themselves from their family, at least until the family can seek help. With no more Sunday brunches to bring the two together, both Shaw and Rule believe that they'll basically never cross paths again.

Until... until... Shaw's birthday. Isn't that how it always happens? Rule and Shaw bump into each other at a bar and the combination of too many birthday drinks and poor judgement (on Rule's part) lead to a night that acts as the catalyst to a crazy ride between the two. 

Have I mentioned yet that I loved this book?

Rule and Shaw are great foil characters. Rule is seemingly rock hard while Shaw is all innocence. The two play off of this opposites attract combination in an amazing way. Their chemistry is apparent from their first interactions with each other, and their first night? I was grinning like an idiot while fanning myself. The two push and pull each other, and each has what the other needs. Rule needs a push to face his grief over his dead twin and Shaw needs to know that its okay to say no to her bully family members. I loved that they challenged each other and helped to each other to become a better version of their selves. 

And Rule and Shaw felt real. I cannot express how important that is. Both characters were complicated, and had histories that explained what made them tick. In the world of New Adult, most characters exist as two dimensional cutouts... but the cast of Rule stands apart and that made all the difference.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the drama. Oh, God, the drama - and I say this in the best way possible. Rule and Shaw's relationship was a freaking roller coaster and I had no idea what was coming at me. And here's another element of the story that sets Rule apart from other N.A. books - the plot twists made sense! They made perfect damn sense. And in my limited experience with New Adult, that's a rarity.

I realize that this has been a complete 100% rave review but I don't care. I need to express to you, dear reader, how much I love this book. Do you enjoy sexy, tattooed boys? Read this book. Did you enjoy Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire? Read this book. Do you enjoy New Adult books? Read this book. Do you want to venture into the world of New Adult but don't know where to start? Read this book. JUST READ THE DAMN BOOK.

As for me, I'd say that I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series but let's be honest... I've already read it... and yes, I loved it.

Jay Crownover... you're awesome.

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