Welcome to the Inspire blog tour, sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours! I'm helping to wrap it up, so if you missed any of the other posts from the other participating blogs, you can check them out here. Now, read on for my review for this new adult contemporary romance by Heather Buchine!
Published March 31, 2013
Format: e-book, provided by the author and Xpresso Book Tours
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3 STARS
(From Goodreads) 18-year old Paige Rice, an exquisite beauty from East Hampton, NY, has just celebrated her high school graduation and is expecting to spend her summer living it up with all her socialite friends. But her parents have a different idea – she is being hauled away-literally- to the mountains of Vermont for the entire summer- in an RV!
Assuming she will be an outcast amongst the other teens at the campground still does not prepare her for the treatment she receives, which is far worse than she imagined. She also isn’t prepared for Travis, the campground owner’s son and the “Sexiest” guy she has ever laid eyes on. Travis is the only one who shows any interest in getting to know Paige. The only problem is that they have to explore what lies between them in secret. But once all the secrets are stripped away, the truth may be crushing.
I really loved the idea of a rich chick roughing it for a summer in an RV. I loved the idea of said chick discovering romance at a campground even more. It's probably because that happened to me once upon a time. My very first real kiss came at a campground during a weekend trip there with some girlfriends of mine. I was 15 and I thought he was the most beautiful boy on Earth at the time. So, you could say I felt a connection with Inspire before even reading one word.
In Inspire, Paige is forced to travel from her mansion in East Hampton, NY to a campground in Vermont for the summer before she starts college. She's not exactly thrilled with the idea, but appreciates that this time together could be good for her and her parents. Once there, she meets Travis - and his awful, nasty friends. When a romance strikes up between Paige and Travis, Paige couldn't be happier about it. Except Travis seems determined to keep it a secret from everyone else.
As mentioned, the campground atmosphere was my favorite part of Inspire. Buchine captured the feel of it perfectly. I could almost smell the burning wood and taste the s'mores. It was the first book I've ever read that took place almost entirely while camping (and not like sleep-away camp - REAL campground camping with RVs and tents and bath houses and such). Authors, take note of this unexplored backdrop!
Sadly, that is where my infatuation ends. I had a really, really hard time relating to the characters in Inspire. Paige was, simply put, too good to be true. She was kind, sweet, and polite to everyone, even the mean girls at the campground who treated her like crap. She runs her own charity with her best friend and likes to spend her spare time working for soup kitchens. She's willing to give up her own happiness just to protect the feelings of someone she doesn't even know. She has a perfect relationship with her parents, only lying to them about the teeny tattoo she got on her hip. And, in the fall she is starting at an Ivy League school. I'm sorry, but NO 18-year-old - male or female - is that... good.
Most of the time, the dialog didn't read like 18-year-olds to me. Especially Paige, Travis and Paige's best friend Tracey - they used words and colloquialisms that most teenagers don't use. Instead, they read like a bunch of 30-year-olds trying unsuccessfully to sound like teenagers. So, this made it even harder for me to relate to them as believable characters.
Although there is no cliffhanger in Inspire, events happen (very randomly, I might add) at the very end of the book that set things up for the next book in the series. I hope it takes place at Willow Falls Campground again. And, hopefully the second time around there is far less winking (What was with all the winking?! Do kids really do that?) and everybody and their brother isn't getting raped or almost raped. Because the more off-hand treatment this plot device receives (as you see several times in Inspire), the more it trivializes the real issue. And, that's not okay.
Learn more about Heather Buchine: Website / Facebook / Goodreads