Monday, May 4, 2015

Heat of the Moment - Review

Heat of the Moment (Moment of Truth, # 1)

By: Lauren Barnholdt

Expected Publication: May 12th 2015 by HarperTeen

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--Before graduation, I promise to...learn to trust. In the first book in the Moment of Truth series, Lyla discovers that trusting her head might be easy but trusting her heart is a whole other matter.

Each book in this paperback original series is told from the perspective of a different girl—Lyla, Aven, and Quinn—former best friends who wrote emails to their future selves back in freshman year about one thing they hope to accomplish before they graduate. When the emails get delivered on the first morning of their senior trip all three girls will spend the next three days trying to keep the promises they made to themselves four years ago. While each book follow’s one girl’s life-changing adventure, you have to read them all to get the whole story, including why they’re no longer friends and whether they can get their friendship back on track.

Lyla McAfee had all but forgotten the email that she wrote to herself freshman year and scheduled to be delivered right before graduation—the one promising that she’d learn to trust by the end of senior year. But when she receives it the first morning of her senior trip to Florida her life is sent into a tailspin. Soon she’s questioning her seemingly perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Derrick; her attraction to the school player, Beckett; and whether ending her friendship with Aven and Quinn, her former BFFs, was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

The first book in a captivating summer trilogy, Heat of the Moment flawlessly balances romance and humor as Lyla embarks on her totally reluctant but completely irresistible journey of self-discovery. And readers will have a chance to discover whole truth about the fight that ended Lyla, Quinn, and Aven’s friendship in the next two installments of the series, coming out later the same summer!

What to say…what to say? First off, I don’t feel like this book was exactly as the description advertised. Lyla doesn’t appear to begin questioning her relationship with longtime boyfriend Derrick because of the email she sent to herself. And she doesn’t really even start to question whether ending her friendship with Quinn and Aven was the biggest mistake of her life either. I mean I don’t want to give too much away, but that’s just not how this book went down. I mean that might have been how things ended up, but it’s not exactly as advertised.

Anna @ Anna Reads (*sniffs* miss her) occasionally talked about “Old Lady Syndrome” and that’s exactly how I felt while reading Heat of the Moment. The gist of OLS is while reading a book you realize how much of an adult you’ve become by contrasting your now self to the character. And yeah, I was having MAJOR Old Lady Syndrome with this one. Truthfully, I remember having some of the exact same thoughts and feelings as Lyla when I was much younger. But in my old age of not quite thirty, I just wanted to scream at her to open her eyes and stop being such an idiot. Her thought process, missing the obvious, not stopping to explore why she feels whatever she feels, her reaction based actions…all of it just made feel OLD.

Lyla as a character was painful to read at times for me. There were just too many “DUH” moments. I was discussing this with husband and he made a good point. He said that since character growth is so important that it’s almost like authors sometimes make the characters so idiotic, immature, etc in the early parts of the book so that by the end it’s easy to see their progression. I think he’s onto something. Subtlety is not always easy to write. And so yeah, except that Lyla STILL didn’t feel like she made much progress to me by the end of the book. She was still pretty immature (and this is a girl contemplating having blows my old lady mind).

Derrick, Lyla’s longtime boyfriend, wasn’t much better. If Lyla sees in black and white then Derrick sees in the darkest of blacks and the purest of whites. Thank goodness this wasn’t a dual narrative because I feel like I would have been just as annoyed and old feeling seeing inside his head as hers. Like Lyla, Derrick missed the obvious so many times.

Beckett on the other hand was probably the only character I really connected to. He liked Lyla—for some reason that I’m still not exactly sure about. But I felt like I understood him and could even relate some. That’s about all I’ve got.

The writing was smooth enough. This was an easy and fast read. That wasn’t the problem. But I just couldn’t connect with the characters because of how immature they felt. This might be the perfect book for younger YA fans.

By the way, the word “probably” was used entirely too many times in this book.

Some quotes to illustrate my points:

-As the car gets closer to the front circle, I see someone standing on the sidewalk, right where the bus should be. Derrick! He probably waited for me! He probably decided that if I wasn’t going to Florida, then he wasn’t going either. I wonder if he had some sixth sense about me losing my virginity to him this weekend.

-I’m texting Derrick now, trying to figure out how far away the bus has gotten. Maybe I can catch up with it somewhere. Like if it stops at a red light or something, I can just run up to it and get on. Of course, that will be horribly embarrassing. Probably everyone will be looking.

-What am I supposed to do until he calls me? And what about his phone? He said it was dead. How long will it take him to charge it? Twenty minutes? An hour? Will he plug it in right when he gets to his room? Will he text me while it’s charging, or is he going to wait until it’s fully charged? He’ll probably wait until it’s fully charged. Boys are so stupid like that. He probably doesn’t even realize he can just text me while it’s plugged in. He probably doesn’t—

Seriously, I could keep going. Just search “probably” and you’ll find all the annoying rants and ravings and questions of an immature teenage girl looking for all the wrong things in all the wrong places.

I feel like I’m making this book sound worse than it was. Like I said, the writing wasn’t horrible. Sentences flowed. Things made sense. I never really wondered how we got from point A to point B—like the author left out some steps. But I just can’t really tolerate characters like Lyla too well. Heat of the Moment gets 2.5 Stars from me. Have you read Heat of the Moment? What did you think? Let me know!

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