Good by S. Walden
Series: Too Good #1
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: August 25, 2013
Format: eBook, 372 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
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Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she's lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It's a lonely existence.
But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him--a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can't help it. He's the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn't expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.
And that's when her life goes from bad to good.
Book 1 in the Too Good series. This series will be a two-parter. The second and final book is called "Better", and will be released Tuesday, November 19, 2013.
(a) A person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not his or her spouse, provided that no conviction shall be had for this offense on the unsupported testimony of the victim.
If you are bothered by the details of this law or find it offensive in any way, then please do not read the book.
(New Adult Contemporary Romance. Translation: Description of drug use and explicit language and sex.)
In Review: My Thoughts
This book made me uncomfortable. I’m not even going to lie. This isn’t the first teacher/student romance that I’ve read, but it’s the first one that affected me this way. I think the biggest difference between this book and the others I’ve read is that this one is NA, not YA, thus the scenes and dialogue is far more explicit. But the discomfort it caused me is exactly why I rated this book four stars. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone and that’s something I need every now and then. I’m filing this one under “books I couldn’t help but enjoy, even though they’re ‘wrong’ or taboo.”
Mark wasn’t the typical, conflicted teacher who fell for his student. There was something dirtier about him. The things he said made me cringe at times. I don’t doubt that he had real feelings for Cadence, but I still don’t know what his true motivation was. Was he a nice guy who just happened to fall for a student or was there something more predatory at work? Their relationship and sexual exploits were absolutely consensual, but it did make me uncomfortable at times. There was a definite dominating edge to his character and his treatment of Cadence.
Cadence was immature. I don’t know that I can honestly say that I liked her. I think she went into this entire situation thinking it was a big game, a way to rebel against her strict upbringing. I truly believe she had real feelings for him too. I have a hard time believing that she really was as innocent and naive as she was portrayed. She just seemed utterly clueless about all things sex. I think that’s also part of what caused me to be uncomfortable with some of their encounters.
Generally speaking, I have to connect with characters to enjoy a book as much as I did this one. Each of these characters were flawed and I feel like I never fully connected with either of them. I grew to appreciate things about them as the story continued, but I can’t really say that I honestly liked either of them. Did I love this book? No. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Am I anxiously awaiting the sequel? Oh yes. I can’t wait to get inside Mark’s head. I desperately need to understand more about him, his history and his motivation.
What I will say, without reservation, is that Summer Walden is an incredible writer. This is the second of her books that I’ve read. Her writing is exceptional. Her stories and characters are interesting and have an edge. She isn’t afraid to push the boundaries and “go there” and that’s one of the things I appreciate most about her writing. Her books make me think. They make me question right and wrong and any preconceived notions I may have had. I can’t ask for much more than that.