I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Scratch by Rhonda Helms
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Kensington on September 30, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
I like New Adult, but I’m also cautious about picking a NA book. They can be MORE angsty than YA, thanks to broken heroes and heroines “saving” each other. But Scratch looked like it could be one of the good ones. And it was.
The most painful scars are the ones you never see. In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that's the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she's reserved, practical-all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she's put up. Like Casey, he's a senior. In every other way, he's her opposite. Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can't fathom, he's intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that's messy and unpredictable. He doesn't know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach - or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.
I think the number one indicator that Scratch wouldn’t be weighed down with melodrama came when I met the guy – Daniel. He’s smart, personable, respectful, doing well in school. He’s got his shit together. I think I was giddy when I realized Daniel would not need saving in Scratch. And so I proceeded to fall for him.
As does our main character – Casey. Now life can’t be perfect, or where would the story be, right? So yeah, Casey has some issues. But there were two things I loved about how Rhonda Helms wrote Casey’s issues:
- They are freaking REAL problems (and not of her own making). I don’t want to spoil anything for you – because learning all the details of how she ended up so incredibly scarred (not just emotionally, but physically) is part of the story – but her problems felt seriously legitimate to me.
- Casey is as far as it gets from a cry baby. She’s had a freaking hard hand dealt to her, but she’s living her life as best as she can. She’s working hard at work at school. She’s got something she loves in her music. She has a great relationship with her grandparents who’ve raised her. She’s just very withdrawn – she doesn’t trust easily or much (understandably). Even that, though, is something she’s trying to work on.
So Daniel comes along and Casey starts pushing herself outside of her comfort zones. Thanks to some pushes from him and her roommate, she makes real strides. But Rhonda didn’t write Casey as a girl who needs or wants saving.
And that’s the final reason I really enjoyed Scratch – Daniel’s a great guy, and he’d like nothing more than to save Casey. But that’s not how it works in life – people don’t save you, because it can’t work that way. You have to save yourself – and so does Casey.
Scratch wasn’t perfect – there was some really stupid melodrama with the roommate that just didn’t work for me. In fact, the roommate often didn’t quite fit. But as a whole, Scratch was a really satisfying New Adult romance and I wouldn’t hesitate picking up another book by Rhonda Helms.