Thursday, 22 January 2015

Trade Me ( Cyclone Series #1) by Courtney Milan

Arc provided by Victory Editing through Netgalley

TW's: Eating Disorder and Drug abuse

Full disclosure: New Adult is not my favourite literary genre. To put it mildly.

However, since this was written by author Courtney Milan, I decided to risk it, and request an arc.
Thankfully I was approved, because in a way this story almost restored my faith in the genre.
An the reason for that "almost" is that for almost eighty percent of the book, I was pretty much loving it.

In fact this was promising to be a solid  four star rating. However in the last part _and true to the New Adult genre _ things became a little too much. The drama start piling, and the "you've got to be kidding me" situations seemed to have taken permanent residence in the story.

The positives
They're many and they're varied.
There's a reason I normally don't read books that feature the word millionaires or billionaires (Okay I admit that I read "fifty" a long, long time ago, because everyone was talking about it, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!What was the fuss about? O_O) and that is, because I HATE controlling, manipulative bastards that think that the world is theirs because they have money.

Blake is not one of those characters: He's actually a sweet, caring, non abusive guy.
I loved the way the author wrote him. His personality and the fact that he's not presented as perfect, makes of him a great leading character.

Then there's Xingjuan/Tina Cheng...
Tina is of Chinese Nationality, although we don't get a lot of psychical descriptions of her.
That "per se", _she being Chinese, not the lacking descriptions_ is great when most leading characters today are given to Caucasian girls.
Bonus points to the author for this.
Tina is a strong, non-bullshit kind of girl. She is not your average simpering Miss, and she doesn't apologize for that.

More Diversity In characters
Besides Tina, there's Maria, Tina's best friend, who is a transwoman, and who is going to be the leading character of the next book in the series. And yes, I definitely want to read it.
Once again the fact that Tina is not alone in this story, that she does have a girl friend to whom she can turn to, is a big yes on the "positives" side.

Blake has a problem..
And it's one that I had never read about concerning a guy.
I loved _not that he had the problem! _, but the fact that this was something different from what I am used to reading. It made him more human.

The secondary characters
Are all well developed and they never felt as they were only there to fill pages.

The writing
This is Courtney Milan we're talking about people, so of course it's more than good.

The negatives

I read the whole book including the section in which the author explains why she didn't want to develop the problem with Blake's eating disorder, basically because that wasn't what the book was all about...however, as a reader, I can't help feeling that approaching such a sensible subject needed "more"...something.

After Tina helps Blake to admit that he needs specialized help, that subject feels a little resolved, and that felt wrong.
Okay I know that in reality his problem isn't resolved. He has the therapist and nutritionist to prove it, but after a moment, everything starts escalating in his life, and I didn't feel that his reaction the the upcoming stress was viable. Not with his problem.
It felt a little too...neat.

Besides this point, all I can say is that I honestly felt that with Blake's "issue", and him being who he is, and Tina being who she was, that the story didn't need more drama....something that ends up happening with a vengeance.
However I do have some serious prejudices against what I feel as an over-abuse of that...."activity"_drama drama drama_, so maybe other people _knowing that is is a New Adult book _ will have a different reaction to the story's last part.

The thing is, I have to remember _if I want to be fair _ that for most of this story I was really loving reading it, and wondering if this would be published in paperback....and I definitely want to follow the series, so I'll compromise with a three and half star rating.
What about you?
Have you already read it?

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