Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller
Publisher: FinnStar Publishing
Release date: December 9, 2012
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Reasons why I loved Crushed (in no particular order):
For seventeen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn’t be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged boarding school life, and try not to mess up too much.
However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who seems hell bent on confusing him - Fletch’s whole world is turned upside down.
Suddenly, what seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.
- It has a male narrator. I adore male narrators. YA fiction needs more of them. But, it wasn't just the fact that Crushed has a male narrator; it was the fact that Fletch's voice was authentic. Any time someone writes a book that has a narrator of the opposite gender, I need the narrator to be authentic. And in this case, it was. Miller did a fantastic job writing from a male's perspective.
- It took place in a boarding school. I know a lot of people love boarding school stories. I've never had a preference; if a book takes place in a boarding school, that's great. If it doesn't, that's also great. I don't think, though, that Crushed could have taken place anywhere other than a boarding school and been as good as it was. I have no idea if Miller thought about having Crushed taking place in a public school, and if she did, how much thought she gave it, but I am so glad that in the end, she recognized the story had to take place in a boarding school or it wouldn't work.
- Ellie Jacobs. She was a great character. When Fletch wasn't likeable, she was. I loved it that she pushed Fletch out of his comfort zones. Of course, he was already out of his comfort zone when he set out to have only a friendship with her, but Ellie continued taking him out of his comfort zone, and it was exactly what Fletch needed in order to develop as a character.
- The story. It was interesting. It was fun. It was frustrating at times, mostly because Fletch really wasn't the most likable character. I loved every second of it, and would have read it in one sitting if I could have.
The writing is strong, the characters well-developed, and the setting perfect. If Crushed isn't on your TBR list, it needs to be.