29 May 2014

No Place Like Home by DeAnna Holland

 “Whether the system works or it doesn’t, it didn’t work for me…”

Having just aged out of foster care, eighteen-year-old Jules finds herself homeless and broke. Shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she’s sent packing with very little money and very few personal belongings. However, with her social worker’s help, she finds a place that she can call home—temporarily. But growing up in foster care has left her emotionally scarred, and opening up to people and letting them in is not something she ever wants to do again.

Until she meets Jake. The attraction is almost instant, and he is someone she can definitely see herself falling for. But Jules quickly discovers that everything is not always as it seems, and people are rarely who they appear to be. After learning the truth about Jake, she wants nothing more to do with him. But Jake is captivated by Jules—not just because of her mesmerizing hazel eyes, but because she has unwavering strength despite the unfortunate life she’s had—and he’s not letting go that easily. He’s determined to win her heart, and with each passing day he shreds more of her resolve. With Jake’s help, Jules soon discovers that—even though she has spent most of her life parentless and homeless—there’s no place like home…

I am of the opinion that the story of the orphan is way overdone in NA stories.  However, once in a while come across stories about foster kids/orphans that are touching in their realism.  This is one of those books.
Jules is about to age out of the foster care system at 18 and become homeless.  She is dreading the last visit to her social worker, but her social worker has a plan.  She unofficially wants to place her with a family who has agreed to help her out until she can find a better situation.  In the midst of these transitions she meets Jake and there is an instant attraction between them.  They sit together at a pizza parlor and part never expecting to see each other again.  But inevitably, they see each other again, and this time Jules gets Jake’s phone number, fully intending to call him.  She learns, however, a big secret about Jake that immediately makes her throw up the walls that Jake had started to break down.  However, Jake is determined to be with Jules no matter the cost.  Can Jules learn to trust?
First off, I applaud the author for tackling a very real issue about aging out of the foster care.  There are many old children in the system that never get families, and bringing this issue to light is completely awesome.  Plus, it’s handled well and from my experience accurately.  It’s a tough subject matter that could have gone downhill fast, but I found that it was an element that added to the story and didn’t detract from it in the least as I’ll admit I was kind of expecting it to.
The characters were a little tougher for me.  I liked Jules, but I felt at times that she was quick to judge others and not hold everyone to the same standards.  I guess I get why she would be that way, but she is one of those characters that is spunky and has reason to be as guarded as she is.  I had to remember that at 18 she had experienced a lot of heartbreak and had to mature quickly, but she also was just a girl trying to find her way in the world. 
Jake I liked a lot in the beginning, but his secret was a big turn off for me.  I’m not sure I liked how he handled the situation with Jules and his *ahem* secret well, but there are parts of him that are redeeming.  He truly cares for Jules and wants to be with her, which I found admirable, even if his efforts were misguided.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot.  It has a great story that sucks you in, even if I did find the character’s behavior annoying at times.  4 stars.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J8KCR90/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00J8KCR90&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/422581
DeAnna Holland is the pseudonym for Brittany Holland, writer and mother of two. Brittany currently resides in Middle of Nowhere, USA (aka Louisa, Virginia), with her family. She’s always had a passion for romance, and when she’s not reading it, she’s writing it! For more information, check out her blog at: www.deannaholland.blogspot.com, and you can find her on Facebook!!!!

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