by Micalea Smeltzer
Series: Us #1
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication Date: October 27, 2015 by Self-Published
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Source: Give Me Books Blog
Things are about to get rocky for Dean Wentworth and Willow Wade.
Willow Wade is used to living in the spotlight, with her father a famous drummer in the band Willow Creek—her namesake—it’s been a lot to live up to and oftentimes she doesn’t feel she’s enough. But there has always been one person she could turn to.
Dean Wentworth knows a thing or two about how crippling a name can be. His family is worth billions after all. But Dean’s always been content to do his own thing. Play his guitar. Work on cars. And geek out to his various “nerdoms”.
But when Willow turns up unexpectedly, he realizes maybe there is more in life he wants.
One trip will change their lives forever.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Could have spoilers for the Willow Creek series.
If you have been a follower of Micalea for a long time then you know that this book has the son of Trace and Olivia Wentworth from the Trace + Olivia series and the daughter of Willow Creek’s lead singer Maddox and his wife Emma Wade from the Willow Creek series. Many of you know I was distraught to be saying goodbye to the Willow Creek series because I adored those characters like no other. They will forever live in my heart.
Dean and Willow’s Epic Road Trip starts now. […] No plan. No directions. No limitations. […] Anywhere. Nowhere. Everywhere.
Willow wants to go on a road trip with her friends but sadly, they bail at the last-minute and she goes to her very close family friend and childhood friend, Dean. She rants to him of what her friends did and Dean suggests to go on the road trip with her.
It took me a while to get into this story and I was surprised since I love Micalea’s work. Once I got into it, I started liking it a lot.
What I loved:
- I love Dean and Willow’s friendship. I loved their friendship so much more than the romance. Once the romance started settling in, I was put off for the majority of the book and I will mention why further on in the review. But we are in the positive section so we are staying positive! I really liked the banter these two would have and they made things really interesting.
- I loved Dean’s disposition to help Willow out. You’d think I would stop my life to go on a road trip? Let’s face it, the answer is HELL YES if I had the money Dean has obviously. If not, “Sayonara my friend but I can’t go.” Any who, he put his life on hold to go with Willow and just spend time with her.
- Willow’s obsession with lollipops reminds me of my obsession with Nutella bread-sticks and gummy sharks! It was really cute to read about Willow’s extreme obsession. It made me feel like I’m not alone! Our obsessions will give us both diabetes if we continue to not have a moderated eating habit of these sugary deliciousness.
- I loved how they would plan which place to visit next and it was something that I’d love to do… If I had lots and lots of gas money. They would close their eyes and point somewhere on the map and head there using only the map. No GPS whatsoever and that’s where the fun really begins.
- I mostly loved reading about Maddox and Emma at the age of 45 and I got so many feels! It seemed like just at the beginning of the year I was reading about them when they were 18-years-old 😉 (Micalea has published 5 books already this year of 2015 and she’s only 22-years old!)
- My book boyfriend’s son was introduced: Liam Wade ladies and gentlemen!! Mathias and Remy Wade had a son in the Willow Creek series and reading about him here reminds me of Mathias when he was young and ahhhh! I’m in love. The next book in the series will be about Liam and I am beyond intrigued! The reader gets a little bit of a background on Liam’s life, which opens up for the following book in the series.
- Willow’s struggle with staying in college or dropping out of college. Why did I love that? It was mostly because I could relate. Willow is struggling to make this tough choice because she realizes college life isn’t for her, at least for now but she’s scared her parents will not like the news. I could relate a lot to this because I realized in my Senior year of college that I don’t want to major in what I’ve been majoring and it’s been killing me with finishing my studies, just as Willow struggles to stay or drop out. This gave a sense of reality to the story seeing as many people feel like Willow do and it is portrayed very well in this story.
disliked didn’t like (I feel like dislike is such a strong word):
- Dean and Willow’s romance was… Not believable. I felt it was forced and kind of insta-lovey. This insta-love didn’t happen as soon as the story started. It was already way into the story but their realization that they loved each other was instant and I couldn’t really grasp it.
- For some reason, I wasn’t buying Willow’s personality. It’s like everything she said or did felt forced, like she was trying to be someone else and it took me a
longwhile to warm up to her.
- Something I hadn’t fully noticed until a friend of mine pointed it out was how descriptive this book is. Now, this isn’t a turn off on many books but this book had a new level of being descriptive that was slightly a turn off.
As you can see, I really enjoyed reading this story but the stuff I didn’t like were very strong and it lead me to lower my rating of this book. I still have high hopes for this series because this happened to me with Last To Know, which is the first book in the Willow Creek series. I didn’t fully love it but the rest of the books I completely adored!
I really recommend everyone to read Willow Creek series before starting this book because you will understand many things that were mentioned in this. You can still read this book without have to read the series I mentioned above.
“You’re one of the craziest, bravest people I know, and you do things I’d never dream of doing. Sometimes I think you’re insane,” he chuckled, “but I’ve always trusted you.
“You will always get back up. This is simply the first stumble. You have some scrapes, maybe a bruise, but it’s not life-threatening. THis was the wrong path for you and now you get to choose a new one. Some people aren’t that lucky. Count your blessings.”
“I thought the road was leading to adventure. To finding myself. But I was wrong.[…] The road was leading to us.”
Those bitches were gonna die.
That was a horrible thing to say about my so-called ‘friends’—and I used the word friends loosely, because true friends wouldn’t ditch you the day of your scheduled road trip because they’d rather be sunbathing in the Hamptons.
The fucking Hamptons.
I mean, how clichéd could you get.
This was why I hated rich people.
It also sucked that I was one of those rich people.
Well, I wasn’t, but my dad was.
So by extension so was I.
When you grew up with a rock star for a dad, cameras and eyes followed you everywhere. It was exhausting.
I couldn’t just be Willow.
I was Willow Wade.
The daughter of the famous drummer Maddox Wade.
People expected greatness from me.
I just wanted to graduate college without slitting my wrists.
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