Monday, August 25, 2014

Early Review: Shatter (True Believers, #4) by Erin McCarthy

Release Date: September 14, 2014
Publisher: InterMix
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website

From the USA Today bestselling author of True, Sweet, and Believe comes a tantalizing New Adult novel about finding love in the most unexpected ways…

Kylie Warner prides herself on being optimistic, but after finding her best friend in bed with her boyfriend and flunking chemistry, her upbeat attitude has taken a dive. Even an impromptu hook-up with her sexy new chemistry tutor only brightens her mood slightly. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see the tattooed scholar again…

While he’s a whiz at complex equations, Jonathon Kadisch has trouble when it comes to figuring out women. So when Kylie tells him that she’s pregnant after their night of passion, he’s at a complete loss. He’s prepared to be a good father—unlike his own deadbeat dad—but he’s less prepared to fall for the genuine and alluring blonde bearing his child.

With emotions running high, Kylie wonders if Jonathon’s devotion is out of growing love or looming obligation. And when heartbreak threatens to tear them apart, Jonathon will have to fight for the only girl who’s ever made him feel whole…

Even though I didn't particularly love this one, I didn't hate it, either. Normally, anything by McCarthy is a winner, but this was, for me, one of her weakest romances.
That doesn't mean Shatter is a stinker, by any means, it's just sort of meh. I'm sure lots of other readers with enjoy it, but I had several problems getting into it.
And here's why:
Kylie has no real problems.
Her family is beyond wonderful, she's well-liked, and she even manages to get knocked up by a nice guy.
The only 'bad' thing that seems to have happened to her is that one of her best friends (during a blackout drinking episode) slept with her (now) scuzzy ex-boyfriend.
Um, ok?
Oh, and she's not super-smart when it comes to math and science.
So? I still add on my fingers?! 
Maybe if you're a genius who's never been cheated on, you might feel bad for her. 
The unplanned pregnancy that was supposed to be the big THING didn't really evoke much of a reaction from me, either.

And speaking of getting pregnant...
Kylie gets knocked up because Jonathon touched her with his wiener for half a second without a condom. Not a full thrust, just an Oops! Thought you were on the pill! Let me move my penis away from you! kind of thing.
Could you get pregnant because a boy's naughty bits 'touched' your naught bits?
It's possible.
But not likely.
I guess McCarthy wanted to paint them both in a fairly good light, hence the condom use. But lets face it, that's not why/how most unplanned pregnancies happen for college age girls.
Stupidity happens. Irresponsibility happens. Unprotected sex happens.
I'm not hating or looking down my nose at those girls. I am one of those girls.
My stupidity led to the biggest and best mistake of my life, and I happen to love that Little Oops with all of my heart. There's nothing like looking at a squishy-looking goo-covered infant that you didn't want, and realizing that you just lost all of your heart a human being for the first time.
It feels something like getting punched in the throat, quite frankly.
However, I didn't get pregnant because his biological father 'accidentally' touched my vajayjay.
And, as a charter member of the Irresponsible Club, I'm a bit insulted that the author copped out on this subject.
So, Kylie getting pregnant in some After School Special kind of way, turned me off big time. It felt like McCarthy was writing some Oooga-Booga-Booga! pamphlet for an evangelical church.
If the boy's penis comes near your vagina, God will strike you down with PREGNANCY!
Obviously, this wasn't McCarthy's intent, but I felt like she took some easy 'magical' route in order to save her characters from looking culpable.

Of course, with all the baby drama, they have to decide whether or not they actually love each other.
*spoilery stuff happens*
After some time apart to figure out what they want, Kylie decides...
She really wants, is to be a Homemaker.
I should be jumping up and down, right? 
Hey! That's me! That's what I do!
Except when she decided this, she didn't have any kids, so it felt sort of...odd.
Yeah, she loves Jonathon, and realizes that she wants to make a home with him, but...
In all fairness, it looks like she plans to finish college.
It's just...?
I don't know, it felt off.
Housewife is a valid life choice, but if either of my girls end up going that route, I want them to have a really solid backup plan.

The romance lacked any real (can't believe I'm going to say this) angst. I know, I know, that should have been a good thing, right? But their love story seemed to play out a little too blandly for me to get all worked up over them.
Sure there were a few obstacles and misunderstandings, just not anything that made me hold my breath or worry.
They were both nice kids. And they both acted in a fairly responsible manner.
I guess their romance played out more like a side romance, and less like a main character romance.
Does that make sense?

This was an easy read, and I had no problem finishing it, but there were a lot of things I thought were either too vanilla or too iffy, for it to be truly enjoyable.


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