Saturday, October 4, 2014

ARC Review: Happiness In Jersey

Happiness In Jersey by Jacinta Howard

Publisher: Independent Book Association
Source: Netgalley
Genre: New Adult, Romance

The only thing in Jersey Kinkaid’s world that she has time for are keeping her grades up so that she doesn’t lose her scholarship to South Texas University, playing the bass in her band, The Prototype, and satisfying her coffee addiction. Oh, and the occasional random hook-up she indulges in to pass the time.

Love? Eh, not so much. Save that crap for a Katherine Heigl or Natalie Portman movie.

Jersey’s seen enough in life (courtesy of her Pops) to realize that undying romance is nothing more than a myth used to sell books and movie tickets. As she knows too well, the only thing inevitable in life is death— love is definitely not promised.

That’s why when Jersey meets Isaiah “Zay” Broussard with his soulful gray eyes, quick wit and easy charm, she’s determined to remain aloof. She doesn't have time to get sidetracked by fleeting fantasies, even if she does feel a connection to Zay she’s never experienced before.

But when his interest in her only seems to intensify, despite her attempts to brush him off, she gets to see a side of him and herself she didn’t expect, causing her to question her hard won philosophies on life, love and finding happiness.

My Review:
Happiness in Jersey by Jacinta Howard is one of those books that your heart just wasn’t prepared for. It just grabs you and doesn’t let go. For me, the tell-tale sign is that when I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are about the main character in the book, Jersey. I was worried about her. How is she? What’s going to happen next? Yes, in other words, I was obsessed.

Jersey Kinkaid doesn’t believe in love. The only thing inevitable in life is death, she believes. She tries to make people believe she is tough. She is a sophomore at South Texas University on scholarship, works at Aroma coffee shop and plays bass in the band, Prototype. This has nothing to do with the story but it might be that I felt so much for this young girl because my Mom was a bass player during my growing up years. The music they played was quite different, of course, but I can totally understand the workings of a musician’s mind. My Dad was also a musician and my son currently is. Ok, now that that is out of the way, I want to tell you more about Jersey.

Jersey’s growing up years were not good. Her Dad is a drunk and over her lifetime has never shown her any kind of love or support. When things get tough and Jersey can’t stand the pressure inside her chest, she will have random hook-ups with guys for sex. Or turn to music. Music was her solace. But the night Isaiah “Zay” Broussard walked in during a Prototype rehearsal, with his gray sexy eyes, everything changed.

“I turned and looked at him, this guy I’d known for just a few weeks but seemed to innately understand me better than anyone ever had. The way he affected me was so thorough it was starting to overwhelm my hesitation, tear down my carefully constructed walls. I felt naked and exposed, and I was starting to not mind it. Part of me wanted him to know me.”

But Jersey did not believe in love. Feelings would inevitably change and she would end up getting hurt. She is determined not to let him in.

“Nothing good could come of this, of these feelings I was having for him.”

“It’s better to let it go, to let him go now because the truth is, if I don’t protect myself, then nobody else will.”

Zay has had pain in his past as well. He needed this change of location, this fresh start. And the first time he laid eyes on Jersey, he knew he needed her as well. Zay plays guitar and finds a place for himself in their band, Prototype. But as tensions grow between himself and Jersey, it definitely effects the other members. Can he convince Jersey to let down her walls?

“You!” he bellowed, throwing his hands up in frustration. “You’re my problem! You’re my solution! You’re my high; you’re my low! You’re my muse; you’re my pain! It’s you. Everything! Everything I do and think and breathe is you!”

The band, Prototype, is slowly gaining momentum, gaining a following. But at the same time, Jersey is struggling with herself. She is a young woman forced to grow up so much faster than she should have, forced to be independent, not wanting to rely on anyone but herself. My heart ached for her as she was forced to re-examine everything she believed and as I watched as she denied her heart the love being offered. Zay is so patient and loving. Can he convince her that love is worth taking a chance on? I hope you’ll read this wonderful book to find out.

My Rating:

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