Friday, June 28, 2013

Crush by Lacey Weatherford

** 4 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD**

Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect.

Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other. 
As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.

This is a cute little book.  The writing style is easy to follow and there aren’t any errors.  The characters are lovable for the most part and the plot is enjoyable.  There is enough mystery and angst to hold an older audience captive…likes me.  I’m 30 and it’s YA so I was a little worried but it was fine. 

Cali is a nerd by all standards in her high school…more nerd by association though.  She’s beautiful with long red, curly hair, perfect skin, a curvy but slender body.  She’s perfect.  She’s 17 and finishing up her senior year of high school.  She’s the girl all boys want to date but because of her social status no one asks her. 

Hunter is the bad boy.  He just moved to town a few months ago.  He quickly climbs the social ladder but all in the wrong ways.  He likes his parties, his alcohol and his drugs.  He’s not looking for a relationship of any kind and he’s got a secret.  A really big secret.  He’s got black hair, brown eyes and a perfect smile.  He’s the guy every girl wants and every guy wants to be.

Cali and Hunter meet at school.  She’s not his type and he’s not hers.  For some reason they are both crushing on each other.  Her best friend, Clay, doesn’t approve but he’s got ulterior motives.  She and her best friend have been BFF’s since Kindergarten.  She looks at him like a little a brother but over time his feelings for her have changed.  He’s nerdy to the point of a pocket protector but one day shows up looking completely different in designer clothes.  They are going to the movies and it’s obvious he thinks it’s a date.  She’s uncomfortable.

At the movies, Hunter is with his buddy sitting in the back row and notices how uncomfortable she is so he takes up the seat right beside her much to the dismay of Clay and asks her on a date.  He asks her right in front of Clay.  She tells him yes and the next day they go on the date.  She goes straight into the hard questions.  Does he use drugs…yes he does.  Is he a womanizer…yes at one time, but not some much lately. 

They begin seeing each other but he’s not what he seems.  He carries a gun, he has an uncle that says he’s too young to be an uncle.  They are keeping a low profile in town while they are up to something.  He needs to be under the radar.  The problem is he’s really into Cami and even after being warned to keep it in control, he can’t.  He decides he’s going to play the role of boyfriend with this girl as long as he can.  He’s meddling in the drug scene.  Cami knows he does it but doesn’t like it.  He wants some of the harder stuff.  He’s obviously not who he says he is and he has no choice but to keep lying.  He doesn’t like lying to her but he has to.  He hopes when all is said and done that she will still want to be with him.

Things are getting a little intense with Cami and Clay as well.  He can’t stand that she’s dating Hunter and he’s making it known that she’s with the wrong guy.  There’s just something off about this guy.  He’s calling her phone time and time again.  He’s showing up at school functions he shouldn’t be at, showing up sitting on the hood of Hunter’s car while they are eating inside.  The guy is just creepy.  He’s spouting of things like, 
“You belong to me even if you don’t know it yet,” and “you’ve always been mine.”  He crosses a line and kisses her while Hunter and his friend watch.  Hunter doesn’t handle it well and neither does his friend.  Even after he slams him up against a car the guy has nerve and tells him he’ll touch her however he wants.  He’s turning into a stalker and she should be a little worried.  Hunter catches him pleasuring himself outside Cami’s window one night.  The guy is sick.

So after the show down with Clay Hunter gives her some options.  Break up so Clay no longer views him as a threat, or stay together and she has to stay away from him.  He doesn’t trust the guy for good reason but Cami is very naive about all of it, refusing to see the way Clay acts as warning signs.  He leaves the decision up to her and tells her he will respect her decision either way.  She chooses to stay with him.  He teaches her to shoot a gun?  That’s interesting in my opinion.  What’s more interesting is when she asks him to shoot he raises the gun and fires the remaining rounds into a can, perfect stance and perfect concentration.  He likes being able to share something real about himself with her that’s not a lie.  Have you figured it out yet?
Things are going really well for Cami and Hunter.  They are spending all their time together.

“I don’t think you understand. I don’t care if she’s seventeen or forty. She’s the one, Chris. I know she’s young, and her life is just starting, but I also know she’s the one I want. I feel it burning inside..."

He’s still got a problem with drugs.  He went to a party while she was at work.  I’m not sure what he took but he is beyond messed up.  He drives to her job (something that should have never happened to begin with) and she finds him in that condition.  It’s not pretty, she drives him home, kicks him out of his car after refusing to drive it home and telling him she’s calling Clay to come get her.  He makes a fuss and she eventually gives in and takes his car home.  Things aren’t looking real good at the moment.  When she gets home Clay sends her a picture of a girl sitting on Hunter’s lap at the party.  That boy will try anything.
He calls and explains but she’s upset.  Then Clay calls and lets her know he’s coming to see her naturally.  He thinks it’s over with Hunter and he’s begging her to be with him.  She tells him she won’t completely write him off as never being with him but she wants to be with Hunter.  She’s so naive.  She’s making a huge mistake her giving him false hope and it will come back to bite her.

She and Hunter talk but it’s not a good one.  Until he comes clean with what he’s hiding they aren’t together.  She thought that talk would send him on his way but boy was she wrong.  He’s not going anywhere and giving Clay the chance to move in on his girl.  He takes a job at the movie theatre where she works.  She gives in and takes him back.

His buddy swears he didn’t take anything but it looks like he’s having a drug overdose.  He goes down in the middle of theater.  This is the 2nd time this has happened.  A few months earlier a guy named Jordan died at a school dance.  The paramedics get him to the hospital.  Cami makes Hunter promise to quit using and this time he agrees.  His friend is in bad shape and they don’t know if he’s gonna make it.  Once they get him to another hospital he finally wakes up.  Now there are questions.  Hunter asked him if he had taken anything but he said no.  Meth was found in his system though.

I knew there was something about Clay.  Clay is responsible for Jordan.  He put something in his drink.  That would also make him responsible for Russ.  Hunter was supposed to drink the drink Russ had.  The guy is dangerous and he’ll do anything to make sure Cami is his. 

The secret is out about Hunter.  His real name is Dylan and he’s a 21 year old undercover cop investigating the death of Jordan.  I saw this coming a mile away.  He knew too much, acted old than 18, and can shoot a gun like a cop.  He had cop written all over him.  The problem is that he got distracted and now Clay has took off with Cami.  He takes her to the theatre where he’s been cooking meth all along.  Hunter has his “uncle” getting the Calvary called in.  Clay has created some weird Phantom of the Opera setting for her…it’s creepy.  He tries to kiss her but she stops him telling him she’s in love with Hunter.  He gets angry and starts spouting what he’s done to keep her.  She gets scared…which she should have been all along.  The girl is really naive.  He drugged her and he’s planning on raping her but in his sick twisted mind, he is of course making her dreams come true.  He stops when Hunter puts a gun to his head.  I don’t know where he came from but at least he’s there.  There is a scramble for the gun and Clay shoots Hunter.  Chris rushes in and kills Clay and now it’s time to help Hunter.  Chris is calling “Officer down” and she realizes what’s happening before she passes out. 

She wakes in a hospital but they won’t tell her anything about Hunter, only that he’d been flown to another hospital.  Chris comes to check on her but says he can’t discuss Hunter with her.  He does tell her that he’s still alive but in critical condition.  He asks if she wants to give him a message.  Faced with “I love you” or “Thanks”, she chooses thanks. 

On her 18th birthday she gets a small present.  Inside was a piece of paper with two words written on it…forgive me.  She recognizes the handwriting as Hunter’s.  He’s in the living room waiting for her.  They talk and he explains everything, including why she hasn’t heard from him in weeks.  He wasn’t allowed to speak to her until she turned 18.  He’s been at her house since daybreak waiting for her to get up.  She forgives him and takes him back.  Now they are free to be together the right way…no lies. 

For this to be YA, it really kept my attention.  I enjoyed it.  It has a 21 Jump Street feel to it.  It was a good book.  It was a little immature for my taste at times but it kept me interested.  I give it 4 stars.

My Hunter/Cami…Can tell you now that my Hunter looks nothing like the guy on the front cover.  That guy looks dead!
  

 Favorite quotes…

“I’m saying I love you, Cami. All of that was as real for me as it was for you. I’m asking if you’ll stick this out beside me. I’m willing to lose my badge and even be dishonorably discharged if that’s the case. I just don’t want to lose you.”

“There’s just something about you that I like. I’m suffering from ‘moth to flame’ syndrome, I guess. Russ teases me about it. He calls you my eye candy.”


**THIS IS BOOK 1 OF A SEQUAL.  SMITTEN (BOOK 2) IS NOW AVAILABLE…review to come