I am glad that I was persistent and finished the book. Because when I have reached page 90 or so, I was undecided to quit it or not. There were so many elements I thought were negative and I was sure I was going to put this book in my 'terrible' shelf.
One, Jacqueline seemed a weak girl. She chose to go to the same college as his boyfriend, when she should have gone to any one of the great musical colleges. Then, after being dumped, she was whining, over a jerk.
Two, Lucas seemed the typical "bad boy". I actually thought that he was another Travis/Alex (from "Beautiful Disaster" and "Perfect Chemistry"). He was so cliche: tattoos, dark hair, motorcycle, hot, etc, etc.
Three, Kennedy seemed the perfect a-hole ex-boyfriend. How could Jacqueline have been with him for 3 years, and only after the break-up she noticed that?
Four, when there is an attempt of rape it always made me so mad I am angry at all men in the world. I was furious with this jerk Buck, and also furious at Jacqueline for not doing anything.
And then the book started to go pretty well, so I thought "Mmmm, it is not MEH anymore". Jacqueline confesses this situation to her best friend Erin, and Erin is so marvelous, supporting her in everything. They go to this self-defense class and Erin even breaks up with her boyfriend because, like most stupid men, he does not believe his buddy would try to rape a girl.
And Lucas... geez, what a nice boy he ended up to be! Not only he is super smart, but he is also kind, and sweet, and independent, and hard-worker, and mature. He never got angry for silly reasons; he was always supportive, and just nice. His story was so moving and terrible, but also made him what he became. And while most heroes with angsty past are melodramatic, he was not... at all. He was just quiet and serious, with this terrible pain inside. And did I mention he draws? When I read that his fingers were stained with charcoal it made me feel nostalgic, because I used to draw and I used to have my fingers that way too.
And then it happened that situation that made me decide to rate the book even higher. Jacqueline was able to defend herself against the rapist. When she was putting everything she learned into practice, I was also punching in the air and yelling mentally 'Go Girl!'.
I like almost all characters. In the end, yes, Kennedy was a jerk, but not the mean one. And Erin was a terrific best-friend, Lucas was a beautiful hero, Benji a sweet new-friend, Prof. Heller a kind old-man and all the rest were realistic, even the girls that did not support the raped girl (sadly it is that way in real life; the girl is always to blame. It makes me soooo mad... I wanted to be there with this sorority girls and shake them all. Except the girl who told her story.... that was so sad and terrible).
Very recommended book. If you, like me, think that the first hundred of pages is MEH, please do not desist. I promise it gets better...