Publisher: Choc Lit (7 Aug 2013)
First impressions, how wrong can you get? When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can’t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she’s also sent to the local high school, as a punishment. Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn’t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin – Jesse is the hottest guy Rain’s ever seen and he plays guitar in an awesome rock band! There’s just one small problem – Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse grow closer. But, what does it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn’t plan on sticking around – Does she?
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Christina Courtenay’s historical romances, I was curious to see how her writing would adapt for the YA genre.
The prologue finds Rain in the comprising situation that leads to her being expelled.
Arriving at Northbrooke High, Rain bumps into Jesse at the entrance. The Principal is not the type of Head she’s used to in her boarding schools which throws her a little. She still keeps up her defensive attitude.
Thrown together with Jesse in their lessons and after school soccer, a friendship grows alongside an intimacy that both try to deny.
Sassy and with lots of attitude, Rain is a fantastic character. She is so down-to-earth with her realism. I loved the relationship she had with her father.
Jesse’s background subtly affects the decisions he made before Rain came onto the scene and through her, he comes to some realisations.
The attraction between them both is full of misunderstandings as they try to ignore it. This is a couple who are so good together as friends. The pull of sexual attraction felt real and at the right level for a YA read. I thought about them both when I wasn’t reading the book – they both found their way into my heart!
Life at Northbrooke High with all the undertow of social circles and etiquette felt like a very real community. All the characters are fabulous. I felt the high tension from Escape from Hell performing – very emotive! I really enjoyed the team building day with all its conflicts, problems, friendships and relationships.
This is one of the best YA reads for me this year with plenty to engage the reader besides the YA romance. I was reminded of the TV series Saved by the Bell (which I used to LOVE).
I can’t wait to see what happens in the next story in the trilogy, New England Crush!
I would like to thank the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.