Blog Tour (Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway): Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean

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Title: Where the Road Takes Me
Author: Jay McLean
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 325 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Meet Blake & Chloe in Where the Road Takes Me in this new coming of age novel by Jay McLean

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AVAILABLE NOW!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1AxvTEC
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1BYBqPP

Synopsis
Chloe has one plan for the future, and one plan only: the road. She’s made a promise to herself: don’t let anyone in, and don’t let anyone love her. She’s learned the hard way what happens if she breaks her rules. So she’s focused on being invisible and waiting until she can set out on the road—her dream of freedom, at least for a little while.

Blake Hunter is a basketball star who has it all—everything about him looks perfect to those on the other side of his protective walls. He can’t let anyone see the shattered pieces behind the flawless facade or else all his hopes and dreams will disappear.

One dark night throws Chloe and Blake together, changing everything for Blake. For Chloe, nothing changes: she has the road, and she’s focused on it. But when the so-called perfect boy starts to notice the invisible girl, they discover that sometimes with love, no one knows where the road may lead.

Grace Review
This is a story of finding yourself. And relying on someone else to help you get there.

The teenage years are a lot about self-discovery. Your body is changing, pressures around you are changing, and the direction of your life is changing. With all of that change, the decisions one makes one transitioning from high school to college or something else, are undeniably stressful.

What path should you take?
Should you decide based on what others want?
Should you decide based on what you want?

Blake and Chloe meet under the most unlikely of circumstances, in the middle of the night in a park. And as their paths cross in an abrupt fashion, it sets a new course for both of them that neither were prepared for.

Maybe we both had something to hide.  Maybe we both enjoyed the company of someone who didn’t know us well enough to judge us.  Maybe we were both so sick of faking it – our breathing had somehow become natural around each other, the way it should be and not a struggle like it usually was.

Chloe has spent the four years of high school being invisible. Just the way she wants it.

Blake has spent his high school years being the center of attention, as the school’s basketball star with the head cheerleader girlfriend. With the world at his feet, he just wants to feel numb.

And while there lives seems so different, they are both in search of something, and their chance meeting develops from a random moment, to that something they both needed desperately.

What I liked:
I liked the premise of this story, and how the connection built between Chloe and Blake. Without knowing it, Chloe sparks something in Blake, that he can’t seem to let fade. He infiltrates every part of her life. Not in a creepy stalkerish way, but more of a this-is-meant-to-be kind of way, where every they keep being brought together.

I’d never questioned the way I thought about my life.  But Blake – he made me question it.  He made me want to change it.  To change my outlook.  And to change myself.

This story has also has a great cast of secondary characters. I adored Blake’s mom, Celia, who had a surprising connection to Chloe. There brief car ride together changed the direction of the story. And I thought equally about all of Chloe’s foster home family. The love and support they show for Chloe was immeasurable.

What I didn’t like:
I get the idea behind an endless road trip, but the reasons Chloe planned to take it didn’t make any sense. Particularly when her future wasn’t clear. She wanted to run to keep from hurting those around her, but it was said to her time and time again, that it was too late, and her decision to run was already hurting those around her. What was intended to be a selfless act, actually backfired and came off as being selfish.

This book was told from dual POVs, both Chloe’s and Blake’s, and at times, the execution was lacking. There were a lot of odd transitions where I wasn’t sure on who’s POV it was, or there would be a quick change in POV that didn’t flow well. Also, I liked the idea of the black and red letter days, but it was a bit over the top at times.

“You’re my unexpectedly phenomenal, Chloe.  You’re my red-letter day.”

Overall, this story was a good one with a great message behind it. I don’t typically read YA books, but the story resonated with me, as the struggles of high school and the transitions one goes thru, were easy to relate to. While you make want to shake some sense into Chloe on occasion, she’s not a character you will hate. And with Blake there to guide and support her in every way, you’ll see how self-discovery doesn’t have to be done on one’s own. And how love will help guide the path to a sweet HEA.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Excerpt

Chloe lifted her gaze and locked it with mine. She shook her head again and groaned, “Fine.” Then she took off her shirt.

My jaw dropped.

My hands had touched her bare skin, the curve of her hips, and her tiny waist, but I’d seen her body only once, when she was in a bikini, and that had been for only a minute. But that was nothing compared to seeing her like this. Up close. So close her sports bra–covered breasts were just under my nose.

“Blake?” she whispered.

I struggled to take my eyes off her chest, but I finally made it to her face. She had her hair tied up in a messy knot on top of her head, like she often did. But a few strands were stuck on her neck and on her face . . . and a little sheen of sweat covered her arms and her stomach, her chest, her breasts . . .

“Blake,” she repeated, and I trailed my eyes back to hers again.

She pouted before she said, “Give me the ball?”

I shook my head and hid the ball behind my back.

She pouted again. “Please?” she whispered. Then a hint of a  smile broke through.

“Are you trying to seduce me into giving you my ball?”

About

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Jay McLean is the author of the More Series, including More Than This, More Than Her, More Than Him and More Than Forever. She also has two standalones coming soon titled Where The Road Takes Me, and Combative.

Jay is an avid reader, writer, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, or devouring some tacky reality TV show.

She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her smile, make her hurt, and make her feel.

Stalk Her:   Website | Facebook | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Google Plus | Google Plus Jaybirds Group | Goodreads

For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film, or television, please contact my agent, Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group. (less)

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