Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.
Release Date: November 14, 2011
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Purchase at: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
I was a relationship retard. I kicked, shoved, and punched people out of my life, so they never had a chance to hurt me.
In this unconventional story about love, heartbreak and redemption, we meet a likeable, yet unlikeable, character named Olivia Kaspen. I think that many readers like Olivia, many hate her and many just don't know what to think of her. Then there are those like me that adore Olivia, even though she's not a virtuous, honest person and has done some awful, selfish things. I don't know what that says about me, but from the very beginning, I felt very drawn to her.
Olivia is a damaged character. She had a tough upbringing, her parents are both deceased, and she has vowed to never allow herself to get hurt. When we see glimpses of the past, we learn that Olivia is in school to better herself and does not let many people get close to her. She is full of sarcastic and sardonic remarks, and has a good dose of self-loathing. She truly believes that she is not a good person, but she still goes after everything that she wants.
Caleb is the hot jock on campus. He is wealthy, beautiful, popular and charming. He takes an immediate and intense liking to Olivia, who does all she can to push him away. It takes a while for Caleb and Olivia to come together as a couple, and that is due in a large part to Olivia's manipulations and conniving mind. We learn that after several years together, Olivia and Caleb have broken up, and Caleb has vowed to never see her again.
He was my crack. I could never get enough, and when I had him I was already thinking about when I could have him next.
When we flash forward to the present time, we learn that Caleb has been in a terrible car accident and is suffering from amnesia. Olivia runs into him and the second Caleb-Olivia relationship begins. They are like magnets, always coming together and unable to stop the pull. Olivia begins her game playing and manipulations again to spend as much time as she can with her long-lost love.
Caleb and Olivia's love and passion for one another burns hot. They are combustible together, yet their time together is way too short. They are addicted to one another, and I don't think that they will ever be able to let go of that addiction. Olivia and Caleb will always have each other in their hearts ahead of anyone else.
"I'll always want you, Olivia. It was never about not wanting you, it was about wanting you too much and you not wanting me back."
One thing I really liked about these characters are that they are far from perfect. Caleb is portrayed as the most wonderful boyfriend that had his heart ripped out by the evil Olivia. We learn much later on that Caleb is as manipulative as Olivia. He has done some things that are just as heinous. His new girlfriend, Leah, is truly a "dirty bitch." Leah does things that are so much worse and so much more manipulative than Olivia, that my mind is still spinning. I absolutely hate Leah, but I love these damaged, crazy characters! The only near normal character in this book is Olivia's best friend, Cammie. Cammie is always up for stalker hi-jinks and for telling Olivia some hard truths.
I really enjoyed Tarryn Fisher's humor that shines through in Olivia's inner thoughts. There are so many sarcastic, laugh-out-loud moments. I hope we get to see more of it in the future.
Lava-like anger was erupting inside of me. I was ready to let the white trash out.
Olivia ends up redeeming herself to a degree, and shows that throughout this story, she is one of the only characters that actually grows up. She finally is able to make a decision that she feels good about. Maybe this is a step in her quest to be a better person. Maybe it's just a fluke, and she'll be back to her opportunistic self in the follow-up to this book, Dirty Red, due December 28, 2012. As much as I despise Leah, I can't wait to see what she has to say for herself.
Fisher did a fantastic job of pulling me into her story. I want Dirty Red as much as Olivia wants Caleb! I can't wait to see where this story goes. The only certainty we know is that Caleb and Olivia's story is not over. I don't know if it will be happy or sad, but I know we can count on an addictive, angsty book about these broken characters I have grown to love.
I hate fate. He is a bored little brat who can't let people heal in peace.