(Website, Facebook, Goodreads)on August 22, 2015
Seventeen-near-old, Laila Patterson, would never describe her heart as fickle. She understands the difference between reality and fantasy, which is why Sam Woodson is not realistic boyfriend material. After all, he is in college, and college boys simply do not date high school girls. Plus, he is Laila’s older brother’s best friend. According to the unspoken bro-code, messing around with your friend’s little sister is pretty high on the list of forbidden taboos.
What happens when Laila discovers that her secret crush on Sam isn’t quite so one-sided? What if the only way to keep him is to keep their relationship hush-hush? Is Sam worth all of the lying and sneaking around?
As if things weren’t confusing enough with Sam, an old family friend suddenly shows up after being gone for more than three years. She isn't expecting Trevor Maddox to move back to Westbrook. She isn't expecting him to attend her high school, and she certainly isn't expecting him to be sodamned gorgeous.
Laila doesn't want or need this unexpected distraction. . . or does she?
When I received a message from the author asking if I’d like to read this book, I read the blurb and couldn’t help but say yes! Contemporary young adult romance is my weakness, and Laila Patterson’s story had just enough to draw my attention. The first few chapters of the book did a good job of setting up a foundation for the characters that I would be encountering, but after about fifty pages or so, the story really started to pick up. Laila had always had a secret—well, maybe not so secret—crush on her brother’s best friend, and things got exciting when Sam started to feel the same way about her.
First off, I had to get used to Laila’s voice. Sometimes she sounded older than her years, whereas other times she sounded like an average teenage girl. Her voice helped establish one of the major issues in the novel: Laila’s incessant desire to grow up. Throughout the book, she constantly had to remind everyone that she would be seventeen in less than a month. The only one who stopped seeing her as the little girl that ran around with dolls and pigtails ended up regretting it. Overall, her character told this story extremely well, and I enjoyed reading the story through her eyes.
Secondly, there was the issue surrounding her heart. As long as she could remember she had been head-over-heels in love with Sam Woodson, who happened to be her brother’s best friend. Sam was older, more experienced, and, honestly, I had a hard time liking him. I totally understood where Trevor, my favorite, was coming from and secretly cheered when Sam messed things up with Laila for, not the first, but second time in the novel. However, that ending! When I turned the page on my Kindle and saw that I had finished the book I couldn’t believe it. I have to know what that note from Sam says!
Trevor Maddox, by far, got my vote. Though it probably makes me an awful person, I kept on waiting for them to kiss. Yes, Trevor chose to date Avery, Laila’s best friend, but I wanted him and Laila to end up together. Every time Trevor’s name showed up I hoped that he would soon walk through the door. I found myself having a difficult time resisting those dimples and green eyes. I would rather have a Trevor Maddox in my life than a Sam Woodson, and I hope that Laila makes the same decision in the forthcoming books!
There were some scenes that included too many italicized words, and I had to read those sentences a few extra times to make sure the characters’ voices sounded correct in my head. Laila’s parents are MIA for a lot of the book, and I’m interested in them, though I did learn more about her brother, Kyle, and his mysterious girlfriend, Georgia, towards the second half of the book. Kyle’s actions when he had more of a presence also piqued my interest, especially concerning Avery—I’m itching to know where that leads.
If you’re looking for an easy get-a-way, particularly around the busiest time of the year, I suggest this book. For those awkward family dinners, Distraction is the perfect…well, distraction.