So Damn Beautiful by L.J. Kennedy
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: December 18, 2013
Format: eARC, 332 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Neither knew anything could be...so. damn. beautiful.
Studious NYU art major Annie Green is laser-focused on one day becoming a curator at the Louvre in Paris. Then she meets tortured graffiti artist Chase Adams, the hottest thing in New York’s burgeoning street scene – and also the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen. Not that such things matter to Chase. He just wants to be left alone to create.
When Annie manages to convince Chase to work with her on a major NYU art retrospective, their connection is intense and undeniable, as Chase challenges everything Annie thought she knew about art, life…and love. Slowly, he begins to trust again and reveal the truth about his past.
But when Annie is pursued by the privileged president of the fraternity – someone who clearly offers Annie much more than him – Chase begins a dangerous descent into darkness. Annie must decide between her head and her heart, and choosing wrongly could shatter them both to the very core forever…
I really enjoyed So Damn Beautiful. From the beautifully flawed characters and their sometimes questionable decisions, to the art talk, to the New York City setting, it all enthralled me.
While this book had several of the elements popular in new adult lit – good girl/bad boy relationship, a love triangle, frenemy with serious bad behavior and a girl looking to find herself – the way L.J. Kennedy put it all together made it stand out from the pack. As a total package, the book was unique. It was also beautifully written with complex characters that, while likable, were difficult to cheer on at times because of their bad behavior. As I mentioned above, there is a love triangle in this book. There’s also some cheating, which may turn off some readers. It didn’t me, though, because of how it was all handled. There was so much more than met the eye to all of the characters and some connections just can’t be denied.
So Damn Beautiful was both a romance and a coming of age tale. Annie really grew during this book. I enjoyed watching her growth from a small-town country girl with an interest in art to a more assured, more confident city girl with her finger on the pulse of the street art scene. Chase was magical. Yes, he was a bad boy street artist, but he was more than that, too. Underneath the playboy exterior, he was vulnerable. He was sexy as sin and his scenes with Annie left me fanning myself. He wasn’t always easy to like and his mood swings and the back-and-forth were exhausting at times, but (gross generalization here) that’s common in creative people. Annie and Chase had tons of chemistry and the sexual tension between them was off the charts. They also shared a passion for art and they just clicked. It was that simple.
… Except it wasn’t, because Annie was dating someone else. Someone who was completely wrong for her. I didn’t like her with Harrison. Mostly because I didn’t like Harrison. He was always a bit douchey to me, but I kept waiting for him to prove me wrong. It was easy to see how conflicted Annie was as she and Chase spent more time together on her project. She was as caught up in him as he was her.
It did take me a bit of time to get into this book, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. One of my favorite scenes was when Annie, Chase and his crew went to the old subway station. It was described in such a way that I felt like I was there with them. I love NYC and street art and would love to see something like that. But, I’m too much of a chicken to do any type of urban exploration. 🙂
I’m so glad the L.J. Kennedy contacted me to ask me to read and review this book. I really enjoyed her writing style, her unique plot and the complexity of her characters. I can’t wait to read more from her in the future.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.