September 25, 2013
REVIEW: Stir Me Up
To Be Published October 1, 2013
Format: e-ARC, provided by Kismet Book Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.
Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….
Foodies, you guys will love Stir Me Up twice as much as I did. Which is saying a lot, because I really loved Sabrina Elkins' debut novel about a teenage girl with a French chef for a father, her overly-dramatic BFF who likes to text IN ALL CAPS and her hot step-cousin (is that even a real thing?) who returns home from Afghanistan minus one leg and plus one major attitude. If you actually know the difference between a roux and a consomme, all the better.
Julian, Cami's step-mother's nephew, comes to live with them after getting hurt in the war. And, that dude is NOT nice. Honestly, you can't blame him. I didn't. I get it - he's an independent guy who is now dependent upon everyone for most everything. In addition to the PTSD, he's dealing with a loss of dignity.
But, Cami - gosh, I loved that girl.While everyone was walking on eggshells and coddling this big strong guy, she's tossing muffins and f-bombs at him. Which turns out to be the best thing for him. He starts to open up to her and she starts to think of her future as something other than this black hole of non-possibilities.
The romance between Cami and Julian is my favorite kind. It's a slow burn - they sort of hate each other at first. And, then there's a mild tolerance. Then friendship. Then, holy hell - it's like the flood gates open when they finally admit there's something more between them than mild tolerance or friendship.
The underlying theme here is about finding out who you are and going for it. Julian thought he knew who he was. Then, he was forced to change some things. Cami had no clue who she was or what she wanted to do. Then, she was forced to figure it out. And, in the end, it seems like they both are on their way toward finding out more about themselves both individually and together as a couple.
I'm pretty sure this is a stand-alone (for a change). Given that, there were a few ends that I felt were still swaying in the breeze still at the end. I kept waiting for more of a resolution to Julian's PTSD. It was very barely touched on, and then nothing. Also, there was a text convo between Cami's BFF and her ex-boyfriend that I was sure was going to morph into something more, and it didn't. It was just so random - I didn't quite get it.
Those are two very minor things - Stir Me Up really is a fantastic book. I read it very quickly. All the foodie talk was really cool, even though I had no idea what most of it was. And, how cool is it that Sabrina Elkins put a few significant recipes in the back of the book? Whether you're a wanna-be chef or barely know how to hard boil an egg, I guarantee if you like sweet romances, then you will love Stir Me Up.
About the Author
SABRINA ELKINS, author of STIR ME UP, has also worked as a journalist, movie copywriter and prep cook. She grew up in Vermont, graduated from USC, and now lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids.
Sabrina loves hearing from fans and encourages you to visit her website, and find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at Goodreads.