Shattered Ties by K.A. Robinson.
With a former supermodel mother and a rock-and-roll legend father, Emma Preston has the best of everything. Nothing is as perfect as it seems though. After her parents divorce, she’s forced to live with her mother in a private Santa Monica community. Ignoring their parental roles, her mother becomes more focused on climbing the social ladder while her father is off on tour.
Growing up in a trailer park with his mother, Jesse is used to people looking down on him. When his mother begs him to submit an application for a scholarship to one of Santa Monica’s top private schools, he never expects to actually get it. When he does, he is forced to attend school with a bunch of rich kids. He ignores their stares as they judge him for having tattoos and a less than impressive car. As long as he has his surfboard and the guys at the tattoo shop, he knows he can make it through.
When Jesse shows up on the first day of school, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Her mother would never approve of Emma talking to someone so poor, but she doesn’t care because something about Jesse draws her to him.
Jesse tries to hate Emma, but he discovers that he can’t resist her. Forced to hide their relationship from Emma’s mother and everyone else around them, things start to fall apart. When Jesse’s friend, Ally, decides to interfere, things go from bad to worse.
Can they survive their first love? Or will they be left with nothing more than shattered ties?
Disclosure: I was sent this book as part of a book tour. I am in no ways compensated for this review, and all thoughts are my own.
It’s tried and true story of a ‘bad’ boy and a ‘good’ girl falling for each other, but it really works, and puts a refreshing twist on the story. Jesse is a boy from the other side of the tracks, significantly less wealthy than his school-mates, after getting accepted to an exclusive private school on scholarship. Emma is a sweet girl, the daughter of a superficial wealth and status obsessed supermodel, and a rock-and-roll musician. I really liked these two characters, they felt real, and they were interesting to read. I quickly became invested in them, and their story which is so much more than the stereotypical trope fest that these books can grow up to be.
I’m not normally one of the mixed narrative story telling, but here it works. We get both Jesse’s and Emma’s views and thoughts, and experience through their eyes what’s happening around them. The story itself has a nice pace, blending romance and real life issues together. The characters and the world go together really nicely as well–transporting the reader back to high school, complete with the social aspect and ‘it’s all about who hangs out with who’ aspect of the scene. There are a couple of characters that I didn’t like, and they added the drama/angst necessary for a few things to continue on with the plot.
The ending is nice, leaving the book open for it’s partner which comes next year. Some people would consider it a cliff-hanger, but I feel that it’s a nice, soft opening for the next book, which I will be picking up because I’m entirely too invested in this story. It’s a great first love, coming of age new adult story, and I highly recommend it.