When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost.
Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.
When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late.
Goodreads | Source: ARC provided by author for my honest review
The Weight of Destiny
1.) Nyrae Dawn’s return to YA – Nyrae has written several of my favorite NA books: Charade, Measuring Up, Rush – to name a few – but I first discovered her with the adorable, fun What a Boy Wants YA series. Dawn writes very authentic teen characters so it’s nice to get back to that.
2.) Diversity. The Weight of Destiny is the first book in planned trilogy and the world Dawn has created is filled with characters from diverse backgrounds. (You can read more about that on Nyrae's website). While the world is diverse, it doesn’t feel forced, as in trying to fill a diversity quota/new trend which made me very happy.
3.) Family & friendships. This is a romance novel but the romance is more than about the boy and the girl getting together. Both Rider and Virginia have complex family issues to overcome but it’s handled in such a beautiful, messy but loving way. And the friendships are deep and binding. This was my favorite part of this book.
4.) It’s sex positive. This story is pretty light when it comes to sex, but it’s mentioned and explored in a way that understands that teens will be teens – but no two experiences are the same. I don’t want to spoil anything but I especially loved Ryder’s growth when it came to this issue. And it’s not the typical man-whore falls in love plot. It’s way more complicated than that.
5.) Luke. Luke is Ryder’s older brother. I know the main love interest is Ryder but hey – it would probably be illegal for me to lust after him at my age and Luke is all swoony and responsible & in major need of a hug so…yeah Luke.
I really enjoyed this one. It definitely has the angsty bad boy meets good girl vibe but there’s way more to this story thanks to the friendship and family complications that were handled beautifully.