AUTHOR: Anne Eliot
GENRE: YA Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHED: February 2012
SOURCE: Gifted to me by my friend, Fred.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can download Almost for FREE!
At a freshman party she doesn’t remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.
…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she’s better. Over it. Because she is.
…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.
Unfortunately, until Jess proves she’s back to normal activities, her parents won’t discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.
Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.
…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.
Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won’t cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.
It’s hard to know where to start with this book. Do I tell you how much I loved it? Do I tell you how much I loved Gray and how much I wanted to hug Jess? Or do I tell you how amazing I think the author, Anne Eliot, is? You see my problem? I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book but above all else I am so happy that I pushed aside a few other books that were at the top of my TBR to read this as soon as my friend, Fred, gifted it to me.
As you can see from the blurb Jess was almost raped when she was fourteen. Almost isn’t the same as actually being raped, right? She should be over it three years later, right? Wrong.
Jess’ life stopped the night of her almost rape. She doesn’t have any friends, she wears herself out trying to be “normal” around her parents and she doesn’t sleep at night. If she sleeps at night the nightmare comes – the nightmare where she hears a jumble of voices, the nightmare where she kind of remembers what happened but not quite, the nightmare that terrifies her and makes her wake up screaming and crying. To get past this she naps in her car during the day and is never properly rested. She always on high alert for when she needs her “normal” mask in place.
Gray Porter is a boy in Jess’ class at school. He’s a boy in the know – he’s a boy in the know about what happened to Jess that night. Only Jess doesn’t know he knows – he can’t tell her since he’s made a reluctant promise to her parents never to speak to her. He accidentally gets wrapped in Jess’ life when they’re both down to the final two choices for an internship that they’re both desperate for – him for the money and her to help her normal status.
So, why did I love this book so much? There are so many reasons.
My heart broke for Jess and the fact that there are so many real girls in her situation. This book made me stop and think and it made me cry numerous times. I had goosebumps just from reading the dedication at the start, knowing that A, B, & C to Z are all real people somewhere. I wanted to hug Jess and help her work things out. I wanted to be the friend that she so desperately needed but maybe didn’t realise she did.
I adored Gray and wanted to hug him too. As the story progresses it becomes clear just how much he knows and how involved Gray was in the events that night. He’s conflicted. He’s a good, decent guy who’s made a promise he didn’t want to and is now struggling to keep it because yet again he’s the good guy who’s trying hard to do the right thing.
I loved every line of Almost. There isn’t one part of the story that I thought didn’t measure up. I have so many highlighted parts in this book it’s like my Kindle changed the background to pink! Aside from the harsh reality of the attempted rape Almost was a beautiful, sweet, love story and Anne Eliot handled it all so perfectly. I loved the witty back and forth banter between Jess and Gray. I loved the fact that underneath her well practised mask wearing Jess was still a girl who was open to feeling things and falling in love, even if she didn’t realise that. I loved what a great guy Gray was. He wasn’t perfect – he panicked when he was scared, he let others dictate to him, but he never backed away from Jess and forgot what he knew.
I think I could go on about this book for a lot longer but I won’t. Hopefully by now I’ll have convinced you that you NEED to read this book, and soon!
“My neck and cheeks are volcano-hot. My entire chest swarms with an uncontrollable butterfly attack. Butterfly riot. Butterfly massacre.
Person slaughtered: Me
Method used: Dimple.” – Jess. Kindle loc 307.
“I thought we’d covered that topic. Are you completely slow? YES. I’m mental. This is why I have a list called ‘how to be normal’.” – Jess. Kindle loc 570.
“I vow to just watch over her. Make sure she’s okay. Make sure she doesn’t get hurt any more, even by herself and her strange ideas. Hell, I’ve been watching over jess Jordan for three years in secret already. She doesn’t remember me, so what harm can come from trying to be her friend?” – Gray. Kindle loc 600.
“My gaze drops to her lips. AGAIN. I take a quick breath and look away, hoping she hasn’t noticed. I have to cross my arms to resist the temptation I have to touch her hair again, or her cheek, or her small, nail bitten hands.” – Gray. Kindle loc 1741.
Anne Eliot has kindly offered 2 ecopies of Almost to 2 lucky winners. All you need to do, as usual, is go to the
Ends 17th April. Good luck 🙂