Update: I have removed my rating since learning this book has been plagiarized. Read about it here. Since I spent time on reading this 'book' and setting up this post, I will keep it up. I DO NOT support people who steal the works of others.
Amazingly Broken by Jordin Williams
New Adult contemporary romance*eBook, 192 pages
Self-published (Publication Date: June 20th, 2013)
She wasn't looking for Mr. Anything but she found Mr. Everything. In Amazingly Broken, Elana discovers her mother's mantra about No boys, No drama, isn't necessarily true. Meeting Jaxon in class is the beginning of a new friendship which would become much more. He's a tattooed drinking, race car driving popular player and she's a sweet, innocent, new girl from Iowa. Elana has left behind her high school boyfriend, Cole, who dumped her, and her alcoholic abusive father to attend college in Florida. The only thing she brought from home are her memories of her beloved mother who died from cancer when she was younger and Tiffany, her childhood best friend. Tiffany found the love of her life over the summer, Lance, and they now live together. Elana is crashing on their couch until student housing can find her a room.
The story jumped in as Elana arrives in Florida, trying to cover up the last marks her father left on her body. The fast pace didn't help me connect with her character and her contradictory actions didn't help me believe her. Elana has just met Jaxon, he's everything she doesn't want in a guy but she's then leaving Tiffany's sofa to move in with him. She does fight her attraction to him despite Jaxon's repeated attempts to break down her barrier with flirting, making breakfast, and even calling her "Toots." Though we are given basic info on the characters, I still didn't know them well enough to truly care about them. The story runs along the formulaic story line found in much of contemporary New Adult contemporary romance: bad boy changes for innocent new girl. I will say the author put in some details to show Elana was different from some of her popular published counterparts. Her singing (her mother sang) and her dedication to her studying and commitment to finishing college was admirable but still didn't make her believable.
"I hated watching him--or anyone--race, let alone fight, but behind the disgust, I could feel lust stirring. It was annoying. First, I was the fawning coed, and now I was the girl turned on by the bad boy. This night was one cliche after another."
At least Elana could clearly see and comment on her growing attraction to Jaxon. She doesn't want to care for him since he stands for so much of what she remembers about her father before he changed. The more time she spent with Jaxon, the more her thoughts became distracted, even during her classes. She's a likable character; it just took some time to like her. Her thoughts at times sounded repetitious (she would say this then say it again in a slightly different way).
It also took a while to warm up to Jaxon--mainly because of the typical depiction of guys in romance being the same in looks and behavior. Secondary character Tiffany was solid in her support of Elana even if she was flaky on some of her ways of helping her closest friend. Her boyfriend Lance was too agreeable. When we learn Jaxon's secrets and see just how nice a guy he can be when he's around Elana, their relationship turned sweet.
My biggest problem with Amazingly Broken was not being able to feel what the characters were going through. Elana consistently told me how she felt when I wanted to see it. This impacted my experience and enjoyment of her story. Parts seemed disjointed, especially the beginning. There were some minor parts of the story I felt were forgotten but since they were introduced, I expected closure (Jaxon's family, a final showdown with Bobby, their shared art class project).
Secrets are revealed. Tears are shed. Love blossoms. Even though I was glad to see the story end without a cliffhanger, the pleasant and predictable epilogue was surprising and quickly ended Elana and Jaxon's story. With the amount of New Adult I've read this year, it's becoming harder to comment on stories when they follow a typical story line. I didn't find the depth of characters or of their relationship in Amazingly Broken that I have in other novels, but the book did become a sweet love story. I'm glad author Jordin Williams made Jaxon hot headed and physical with others but not with Elana. I have no patience for the male bullies found so frequently in this genre. Sometimes when we tell ourselves we need to avoid something, that one thing turns out to be exactly what we need.