Riot (Mayhem, # 2)
By: Jamie Shaw
Published: February 10th 2015 by Avon Impulse
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--When Dee Dawson meets sexy mohawked guitarist Joel Gibbon, she knows it won’t be long before she has him wrapped around her finger. No guy has ever been able to resist her… but Dee’s met her match in a player like Joel.
Dee’s not the relationship type—not after seeing the pain “love” has caused her friends and family—yet she’s desperate to make Joel want her more than anyone else. He quickly becomes an obsession, and when a reckless attempt to make him jealous ends in disaster, Dee turns into the damsel in distress she never wanted to be. With her carefree world crashing down around her, the last thing she needs is Joel’s pity.
But Joel is suddenly determined to prove he cares, and no matter how hard Dee tries to push him away, he refuses to let her shut him out. Now the girl who swore she’d never say those three little words must choose between guarding her heart and losing Joel forever… or falling head-over-heels for the tattooed rock star of her dreams.
I was so pleasantly surprised by Mayhem. I knew I would want to continue this series. I was beginning to think that my review request wouldn’t get approved because release day for Riot was coming closer and closer. Finally I was approved. I had to wait a couple of days before I could start it because I was finishing up another review book, but that just made me even more excited to finally dive in once I was able.
The basis of Riot was established within Mayhem. Dee is Rowan’s best friend, and so Rowan introduced us to Dee’s background. We also see Dee and Joel hook up for the first time in Mayhem so the stage was set. Dee’s been in the habit of making guys fall in love with her and then dropping them to prove that she’s not going to end up broken and alone when they inevitably leave—just like her mother did to her father when she was eleven. While she’s trying so hard not to turn out like her father—broken and alone—she doesn’t realize that she’s essentially turned into her mother—crushing and insensitive. All of that being said, I think it was obvious what the conflict for Riot was going to be before I even went into this book. It was basically spelled out from Mayhem and even from the description above. Anyone remotely versed in human behavior could guess what would happen in Riot.
This book was like watching a train wreck. I couldn’t do anything to stop the wreck from happening, but I couldn’t look away at the same time. And I mean that in the best and worst ways possible. Yes it was predictable. Yes it was painful and frustrating at times. Yes it was even very similar to several other books that I’ve read in the past. (See my post about Repetitive Themes where Riot is included in several categories.) But at the same time, given Dee’s background, how could anything different have happened and been authentic?
I was torn on these characters. Joel’s apathy in the beginning was difficult to read at times. It was like he didn’t care if he was with Dee or any other girl. He did seem to have a particular fondness for her, but "meh any old girl will do." Of course, there’s a catalyst that causes Joel to wisen up on how he truly feels about Dee. Yet coming at Dee full force is like running up to a wild animal--it doesn’t work. You must approach with caution and strategy. Dee, too, was a difficult character to read. Sure we’re all different, but I don’t always relate to people who are vastly different from me. Dee’s casual attitude toward sex was just something that was hard to wrap my head around. Sure there are plenty of women and girls out there who look at sex the same way that Dee does, but that’s just not me.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been noticing repetitive themes in books for quite some time—I even did a post about it last week--specifically the theme I want to mention is where relationships begin with the physical and them move into more. This happens often in NA books, and I hate the impression that it gives about romance and relationships.
The conflict for Riot was obvious, and the solution to overcoming this conflict was SO EASY. It’s almost frustrating to even have this considered conflict. I want to say more, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers.
-“Joel is a game.” “And what’s the prize if you win?”
-In a war of social combat, there’s one key to victory: Act like you’ve already won.
-“No one’s breaking your heart here but you.”
Of course, the setting has been laid for book 3, Chaos, which will finally feature Shawn’s story. Thankfully, unlike Riot even though the conflict is already established, I don’t know how Chaos will play out—well not entirely anyway. There are a few things that are a given.
All in all, I devoured Riot. Where I normally find myself saying that a book wasn’t what I expected it to be, Riot was exactly what I was expecting. There really weren’t any surprises. I was frustrated with the conflict and the resolution, but I was sucked in anyway. Riot gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Riot? What did you think? Let me know!