Welcome to our stop on the Stripped Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound. Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule.
Stripped by Brooklyn Skye
New Adult contemporary romance
Release Date: 05/14/13
“I like you.” His voice is low and soft, which I don’t deserve. I look away, down the rutted parking lot.
“Don’t…waste those words on me.”
He touches my cheek. “You just need someone to show you.”
“No.” I ease back again. “I don’t. So please, Torrin, stop trying to swoop in and save me. I don’t need saving.”
College freshman Quinn Montgomery will do anything to avoid the mistake her sister made—killing herself over a boy. But when she is forced into nude modeling at a local college to support her family after a bankruptcy, she begins to crack, just enough to let Torrin, the university’s top varsity oarsman, see that the real Quinn is not as feisty and unapproachable as she wants everyone to think. But letting someone in comes at a steep cost and, it turns out, Torrin is connected to Quinn’s family in more ways than she could ever imagine.
About the Author:
Brooklyn Skye is just your average awkward girl who's obsessed with words. She grew up in a small California town where she quickly realized writing was an easy escape from small town life.
In Stripped, Quinn Montgomery is one of those characters a reader can grow to like and admire once she is understood. At first her snark may grate on some nerves but be patient, under her sharp wit is a girl who has experienced tragedy which has scarred her. Instead of letting her past continue to interfere with her present, she begins to give in to feelings and learn to live and love. All she needed was the help of a young guy named Torrin.
Being "broken" seems to be a prevalent theme in some YA and New Adult nowadays. Quinn is no exception. The way she describes her lips as being cold is unsettling and she even 'dates' a gamer dude named Derek she can't stand as a reminder of the vow she made to herself when her older sister, Zoe, took her life over a guy. Unfortunately, family secrets and a full-blown media scandal involving her father losing his position as dean at a local college, has lasting repercussions. Her parents are now broke, the house is for sale, her mother's car had to be sold, and there's no money to make the upcoming payment of Quinn's tuition. Freshman year has never been so frustrating.
Needing close to three thousand dollars or else she'll have to leave her college and settle for attending the community college, Quinn decides on modeling in the nude for an art class at the same college associated with her father--and subsequently, her family's--demise. Kudos to author Brooklyn Skye for having Quinn run out on her first day at work, only to return when she desperately needs the money. Told from Quinn's pov she is angsty enough to show her pain but her snark and crazy creative outlook on life makes her endearing.
The pace is quick, the language is often stark and powerful in parts, and I really enjoyed the scenes between Quinn and Torrin. His sarcasm leaves her guessing and she has meet her match. Their conversations were poignant and humorous in their brevity. The surprise of who he is may be solved quickly and that's okay. For Stripped, it's not really his identity that's important, it's how he gets Quinn to open up and break her vow to never fall in love. He shows her one kiss doesn't lead to intimacy, spending time with the one who makes your heart flutter is more important. There's no insta-love here, these characters grow to care for each other over time.
There were some times I wanted more description but the style of writing was intended to be brief and powerful. A bit more insight into Torrin would have strengthened my affection for his character. I loved the symbolism from the owl pendant Quinn wore like a life preserver (and last link to Zoe) to the camera Torrin uses to photograph the ocean to the tree house he takes her to visit. These 'strokes' added dimension and color to Quinn's story.
Love, acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, Stripped is a touching contemporary New Adult romance. Sometimes we have to look beyond and question what we are told instead of simply believing. Sometimes beauty can be found in the ashes. Quinn's mind may have felt she needed to cocoon herself from feeling as a way of recovering, but in the end it was her heart which truly decided which direction she needed to go.
I don't care for this cover at all. With the exception of the pendant, the muted color and sun washing are dull.
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review.
One signed paperback copy of Stripped (US only) or one e-book copy with author-graph (INT).