Thursday, November 7, 2013

REVIEW: "Take Me Now" - by Faith Sullivan

"How do you survive the internship from hell?
Don't fall in love.
Ivy thought being a reporter-in-training at the Independent Gazette would be her dream summer job. Little did she know, interviewing Eric, a landscaper with a heart of gold, would derail her plans. It turns out Ivy's boss, Lauren, has been eying his chiseled physique for quite some time.
But at twenty-four, Eric already has a tragic past, one that he is still reeling from. Even though his ordeal turned him into some sort of local celebrity, it's been a while since he's shared his bed with anyone. When he comes to Ivy's rescue out of the blue, it's not long before the two of them start seeing each other behind Lauren's back. When they get caught, Ivy's journey toward a college degree is jeopardized and her relationship with Eric is severely put to the test.
Career versus love? In the end, a shocking turn of events provides Ivy with a revelation she never saw coming."

"I really hate talking about myself. My goal is to have the shortest author bio imaginable. I would much rather have a conversation with my readers. Are you able to escape within my pages? Does my writing make you feel something? Are there characters that you can't get out of your head? Let me know!" 


When I was a college student leading guided tours around campus for the admissions office, I'd tell "prospies" (i.e. prospective students) that 50% of the learning they'd do would not be in the classroom...a figure I stand by to this day.  Yet what if in trying to meet classroom and graduation requirements, love comes out of nowhere and clobbers you?

"I'm only gonna read one more chapter....oh, who am I kidding..."  This was my constant thought as I diligently read this marvelous little book.  It's fairly short, easy to comprehend and read, has characters to which very nearly everyone alive can relate (who hasn't had a nightmarish boss, someone to love, and someone love so much in their lives?).  Sullivan puts readers through an emotional roller coaster here, as the characters are so relateable, and so very danged real, that I wanted to crawl through the pages and do some choice smacking at some points and hugging elsewhere.  Readers' hearts break, soar in elation, want to vomit in disgust, and want to wrap everyone up in a massive hug...all in one short book.  

Overall, I rate this book a 4 out of 5.

The Good
Picture yourself as a young college student who thinks she knows the major characters in her life fairly well.  Imagine that you are participating in an internship, when the boss of that internship decides to make your life an absolute living hell simply because the guy upon whom her sights are set seems to be looking your direction.  Now toss in a dramatic movie night, unrequited feelings flying around, requited feelings being realized, anger, love, jealously, hate, emotional baggage, misunderstandings, blatant manipulation, and one heck of a cute dog, and you have Take Me Now.

In this book we find Ivy, a young college student who is simply trying to fulfill some graduation requirements by completing an internship on her way to become a journalist.  Eric is a young man who owns his own business and has a rather painful past (no spoilers here...sorry!).  When Ivy literally unexpectedly falls in his arms, will Eric learn to love this beautiful stranger?  Will Ivy be able to recognize a good thing when she sees it? 

I can't ask too many more teaser questions without giving away massive parts of the plot.  If you are looking for a sweet and cute little read that will keep you intrigued while tugging away at every heartstring within your chest, then you need to read this book.

Set in modern times in a town somewhere in the U.S., this book has a small town, country feel.  Many of the settings utilized here are drawn in comparison to places that readers will likely already be familiar (McDonalds, for example).  Others are portrayed in enough detail to get an idea of what is going on and what things look like, why some things make sense, etc.  They leave readers with some imagination work to do in order to fill in the gaps, but do a good job at creating the scene.

Sullivan has worked a plot that moves quickly and efficiently, with enough emotional import that one simply does not walk away from this book's pages without thinking about what is going on.  Heck, I finished reading the book a couple of days ago and am still thinking about what might happen in the second book of the trilogy...  Anyhow, the plot and flow of this book work together very well.  It is easy to read and absolutely hooking.  Love it!

I absolutely fell in love with the story between Eric and Ivy.  They are real, approachable people whom I might run into when going to the grocery store.  Their voices are unique when talking with one another and others.  As for others within the story, there are people who act like complete jack*****, total tools, and the rare few who actually are out for the good of everyone.  Ivy is a super strong female figure, though she has let men push around a bit.  In the end, though, she asserts herself and that's awesome.  Eric is the man that every woman wants to date: considerate, thoughtful, hot, sentimental, etc.  Yet he does have a tragic past.  But will that past prevent him from a future with Ivy...

Sullivan uses a writing style that allows Eric and Ivy to take turns narrating the action.  This may seem a smidge confusing, but it actually works very well.  I actually really enjoyed it because it meant that I got to delve deep into both Eric and Ivy's heads.  

The Bugly
There are, however, a couple of areas in which this work needs some work:

  • Though the Eric/Ivy-taking-turns-narrating writing style works, they sound a bit too much like each other when they are narrating.  Eric's narration voice sounds very much like Ivy's narration voice, etc.  While they are clearly different while they are actually speaking, they are not distinct enough when they are narrating.
  • Several of the characters left me wondering about their motives.  Why does Ivy's Hollywood friend behave the way that he behaves?  We don't get enough background regarding several characters who make life difficult (Ivy's boss, best friend since who-knows-when, Hollywood friend, etc).
Overall, this is a wonderful little book that will satisfy your romantic comedy-of-errors hunger.  I fully intend to read the next book when it comes out.  

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