“It started with a lemonade
And ended with my heart
This, my pretty reckless rival, is how
our screwed-up story starts”
Pretty Reckless by L. J. Shen was probably my most anticipated read of the year. The lead up was agonizing and long, so when a copy finally landed on my Kindle, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The wait was absolutely worth it though because this story is phenomenal and no review, I attempt to write will do justice to how positively epic Pretty Reckless is. Anyone who loves their highly addictive and angsty reads will fall head over hills just like I did.
Daria Followhill is the daughter of Jamie and Mel and is an entitled and spoilt Queen B; she is unapologetic, ruthless and retaliatory. Even though you want to hate her, you just can’t. One thing I found really surprising about Daria was that I found myself quite sympathetic towards her and felt every ounce of her pain, the struggles she was enduring and the reasons behind her somewhat cruel behavior. I even found myself rooting for her throughout and wanting nothing more than to see her reach for the stars and get everything I felt she deserved. I thank Leigh for her exquisite talent of having the ability to write a character people generally would consider horrible and turning her into someone with depth and a multitude of layers you just can’t wait to peel back.
“Nobody wants to be a bad person. But some people – like me – can’t help themselves. A tear rolls down my cheek, and I’m thankful we’re alone.”
Penn is the stuff bad boys are made of; he is from the wrong side of the tracks and has endured a life-time of drugs, criminals and tragedy. He smokes and has no qualms about throwing a punch here and there. His bad boy persona is a reflection of the life he has led and despite all this still manages to be the star football player. I was intrigued by him instantly and wanted to know absolutely everything there is to know about the enigma Penn Scully. I couldn’t get enough and the more I delved deeper into his character the more I was hooked.
I absolutely adored every aspect of Daria and Penn’s relationship; the push and the pull, the intense and powerful connection and the steamy and fierce chemistry. These characters are so complex, real and have both lived in a life full of struggles and deep-seated pain, but despite this they both know what they want and always come out on top.
“He gave me the rarest thing in the world, and I gave him heartache…”
“…There’s some relief in this pain I’m feeling. It reminds me that despite my bitchy ways, I’m still capable of hurting for someone else.”
One thing I love about reading is being completely blindsided with twists and turns that I never saw coming. I love nothing more than being completely surprised by a plot twist that was so unexpected and jaw dropping. I was on the edge of my seat and I just had no idea what was going to happen next and my heart was almost pounding right out of my chest.
Pretty Reckless is an extraordinary and remarkable piece of literature you certainly won’t forget in a hurry; the ups and downs, the twists and turns and the heart racing moments will leave you breathless and wanting so much more. Leigh has upped the ante once again and this book is seriously as good as everyone says it is. The writing was carefully crafted to perfection and the characters were well thought-out, real and unique. Daria and Penn have left a massive mark on me and this is epic read is positively unforgettable. I wait with bated breath for Vaughn’s story in ASH book 2.
About the Author:
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.