For What It's Worth

Thursday, August 11, 2016

review: 738 Days by Stacey Kade


26114333At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart? ~
Goodreads

Review:

I’ve adored Stacey Kade’s YA writing for years now and was thrilled to hear she had written a gritty NA stand alone novel.

Amanda Grace was abducted and held captive for 738 days before being rescued. Fast forward almost 2 years and Amanda’s life is still in chaos. She’s alive but broken. Her family – parents and 2 sisters – is in shambles, drowning under the weight of fear and guilt – tip toeing around Amanda or, in the case of her youngest sister, Mia, jealous of all the air and space Amanda takes up regarding their parents.

One of the things that kept Amanda going in captivity was a poster of actor Chase Henry hanging in the room she was kept in. He *talked* to her and helped keep her alive through all the pain and suffering.

And there was a lot of suffering. Kade doesn’t shy away from anything Amanda went through, or the aftermath. It’s intense and incredibly well written. Your heart just breaks into a million pieces for what Amanda has gone through.

Chase is hitting rock bottom as well. His acting career is in shambles after several arrests and the usually bad boy actor downward spiral.

His publicist thinks a meeting with Amanda and visit to his latest movie set on the 2 year anniversary of her escape is just the thing to improve Chase’s image in the press.

Their initial public meeting doesn’t go well – at all – but unlocks something in Amanda to try something new. She’s been afraid too long and therapy hasn’t helped as much or as quickly as she hopes. She's tired of everyone making decisions for her and begin afraid all the time. So she agrees to go with Chase to his movie set to help his career but also as a way of pushing herself out of her comfort zone but with someone she feels a connection to.

Chase is in way over his head with Amanda but they begin to open up to each other and form a friendship that leads to more.

It was a delicate balance to make Amanda and Chase's relationship work and explain how they can relate to each other. Chase has gone through things in his past that help him connect to Amanda's fear of attention and lack of control of her life but there's just no way it can EVER come close to what she's been through. But it works.Again, Kade wrote this part with sensitivity and care.

Having said how much I loved this book and the relationship – I did have one issue with it.

Kade did such a good job at making you feel the horror of Amanda's experience over that 738 days that I so wish she took longer to develop this romance. A few days for Amanda to overcome EVERYTHING. The way it was written - perfection. The speed of it - not so much. Sure it worked out but Chase was dealing with a girl that had horrible, horrible things happen to her. One wrong move and he could have undone years of work. He was the right person to push her forward - and I believed it - but oh man, the side of me who has known people who have been through this cringed at all the ways this could have gone wrong.

And the twists that caused the big black moment for the couple felt squicky. I mean how much more do you put a girl through? It was honestly hard to read.

On one hand I loved this book. My heart ached for Amanda and I thought her journey to strength and healing was beautiful but I would have felt more comfortable with the whole thing if it spanned months and not days.

Even though I had that one issue – I think this is Kade’s best writing to date. She really pushed outside the comfort zone of her usual somewhat lighthearted (but always thought provoking) books.

This was a tad steamy and happened in a short time frame but it wasn’t a romance fixes everything story. Far from it. Again – it was just that time frame that got to me. Maybe I’m being too nitpicky considering how much I enjoyed it overall but there you go – I still felt like I had to vent about it lol

22 comments:

  1. Fab review! I'm 40 pages into this and am intrigued so far. I put it down for a few weeks because other books came up, plus the Olympics. But I definitely want to get back to it and finish.

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    1. I knew it was going to be a tough read so I made sure I was int he right frame of mind and had time to read right through.

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  2. I really do not know if I want this to be steamy considering her ordeal

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    1. I was really worried about that too. I think she did a beautiful job with it though. It was just how fast it went that made me question things but it was done well and didn't make light of anything she had been through.

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  3. I loved this book. So much. I loved Amanda and Chase! But I completely agree: how much more crappy stuff is Amanda going to have to suffer through! But still, I was sucked in and I couldn't stop reading. I'm glad you enjoyed this too.

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    1. I didn't like the the last thing she went through was so similar - felt like one thing to many to put her through. But I still really loved this book.

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  4. Gotta check this out even it's just out of curiosity. I haven't heard of this author before and anything you love this much I'm all for it too!

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    1. I loved her Ghost and the Goth series - that one's kind of on the fun/paranormal side.

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  5. I know right? I felt the fear and desperation from her even though we only got a glimpse of the kind of nightmare she'd endured.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one, too!

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    1. I was impressed. Since so much takes place *after* but you still got a sense of the fear and pain.

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  6. Romances can move a bit TOO fast in books like these, but I'm glad that most of the story worked for you and that you did feel these two were good for each other. Those are big things! I would be curious to try this one.

    -Lauren

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    1. I did love - even though I wished for it to be a little different. Otherwise it was written with great sensitivity.

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  7. Oh I do think that your niggle would be mine as well. I can see why an author does it that way... trying to get everything in one novel, but still, I often would like to see more time taken as well in extreme situations like that. This does sound like a brilly novel and I am going to see if my library has it or at least has it on order.

    Happy Weekend! (LOVING the pup pics on the side).

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    1. The circumstances make sense and in a way I think she managed to pull it off enough so that you believe it anyway but it still bugged me. It's a lot to overcome with someone who is basically a stranger over just a few days.

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  8. I CAN'T IMAGINE all that torture she had to go through. What a torture that had to have been! :( I'm glad that in the end this wasn't one of those stories in which the romance is the one thing that stitches things back up all nearly and stuff. I LOVE when the characters are able to figure out their problems for themselves. ♡♡

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  9. I've read some with the time frame issues like that and so wish they'd found a way to just spread it out over a slightly longer period of time to help really deal with the issues and make it believable. Glad it was still a good read for ya!

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  10. I haven't read NA in awhile but this one sounds promising with the romance and grittiness and stand alone factors

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  11. One of those books destined to be become a film?

    I'm so glad that the romance aspect didn't take over as that, for me, would have spoilt what sounds like a book I'd enjoy.

    Great, indepth review, thanks.

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  12. This sounds good. I feel like there a lot of books out there on abduction lately...I'm reading one now. New trend since Room? Anyway, if I get to this, I'll be aware of the quickness of her recovery. Very nice review.

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    1. Her recovery isn't really quick - it's been two years since the abduction but the romance was quick for someone with so many issues (imo anyway)

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  13. I haven't read a book like this before, but you're making me want to!!

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    1. I love Stacey Kade so I recommend anything by her.

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