Published by Harlequin Teen on January 30th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.
Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.
When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.
But sometimes love can breach all barriers.
Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.
I love Katie McGarry’s books and this one was no different! Seriously, if you’re a fan of hers, you should definitely be excited about this book! I loved the overall messages of being true to yourself and learning who you are and helping those who need it. Plus, I really loved the relationship between Drix and Elle. But there’s also an interesting backdrop of politics and how the games are played and who the system works for and who it doesn’t. This book brings some really important topics to the page and I really hope this book will start some interesting discussions. But don’t forget about the romance!
I really loved Drix and I really loved watching the relationship develop between him and Elle. It felt more natural than some other relationships that happen in YA books so it was nice to see them actually spending time together and talking and learning about each other while also being attracted to each other without just jumping right into a relationship or insta-love or anything like that. It was a nice change and I really enjoyed getting to experience that part of their relationship.
I wish I had loved Elle more than I did. She was very naive and trusting and spineless when it came to her parents and I had a really hard time getting behind a lot of the things her parents were making her do and didn’t understand why she wasn’t asking more questions earlier. I also thought the coding thing was a little random and wish I had felt more of a passion from her for it because it almost felt like just something she wanted to try rather than an actual life goal for her. Which in turn made it hard to understand why she cared so much about the coding program. But that wasn’t a huge deal for me, just something that felt a little off. I also enjoyed watching both of them learning who they are. And I, of course, loved that they saw such greatness in each other even though they were so different and without being insanely over-the-top cheesy.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I loved Drix and his friends and family. I loved the way they all came back together and seeing all of their transitions after Drix came home from his program. I loved how Elle really seemed to want to help people and change the world and her optimism and hard work. I also loved how these characters highlighted some of the problems within our justice system and how hard it came be for people who can’t afford their own lawyers and how much help teens need when their home lives are unstable and insecure. I think Katie McGarry did a really great job showing what the cycle actually looks like and how many privileged people don’t see how hard it is to break.
In the end, I really loved this book and think it’s a great one for people who are already fans of McGarry’s and a really good place for people to jump in who haven’t read any of her books yet. It felt a little less dramatic than some of her others and talked about some really important issues. And if you like swoony romances, this is definitely a good one!