Friday YA: Heartache and Hope (Heartache Duet #1) by Jay McLean

Ava Diaz needs saving.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day of senior year.
He thinks she’s a brat.
She thinks he’s entitled.
Maybe first impressions don’t always last… 
Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.
He just doesn’t know why.

When Connor starts at his new school and gets seated next to Ava in Psych class he immediately wants to get to know her. Unfortunately, Ava’s checked out. Her mother’s home from Afghanistan with a severe injury and Ava is trying to hold it all together. She doesn’t have time to care anymore about friends, boys, or any social niceties. Connor breaks through her barriers and becomes the person she doesn’t want to need, but needs too much.

Connor is struggling to keep all of his own responsibilities in line. Moving to this new school with the purpose of getting noticed by college scouts is his father’s main concern. He’s not too thrilled with Connor’s infatuation with Ava, and when he hears about all of her problems? His son doesn’t have the time for a girl with all of that baggage.

Heartache and Hope had an interesting premise and two main characters who had really interesting, conflicting back stories. I was curious to see how all of their drama would fit into a high school setting. Ava’s situation with a mother who has PTSD was so adult and yet her love story with Connor was kind of youthful it provided an interesting contrast in her character. Connor was also struggling with adult decisions about his future that when he acted out as a normal teenager it was a little jarring. I had to remind myself that this is actually a YA novel.

I can’t say I was riveted to every page in this novel, but it did have moments that captured my interest and kept me reading. If I’d known it ended in a cliffhanger I don’t think I’d have picked it up at all because now I’ve been left a little dissatisfied. Luckily I don’t have to wait very long for the next novel because it comes out only three weeks after the first novel. This bait and switch seems to be a kind of new way to entrap readers to continue on with the series and gains the author a couple extra bucks. However, in this case I’m not sure if I will remember these two characters and give them four or five more hours of my valuable reading time. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“At the end of Heartache and Hope, readers will absolutely be emotionally drained because while the hope is still hanging on in the final pages of book one, the heartache seems far more overreaching and far more tangible…” Fairest of All Book Reviews

“This book packs that punch. Connor has been through something awful, Ava is pretty much living her own personal nightmare, but somehow they manage to find peace within each other. There’s something so beautiful and powerful about that.” Romance Book Binge

Click this link to purchase* Heartache and Hope: Heartache Duet Book One

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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