Series: Progress #1
Published by Self-Published on 1/15/15
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Amazon ∣ B&N
I admit, I didn’t think much of Charlie at first. She was rounder than the girls who usually caught my eye. Not my type. But when I saw her sitting in that booth alone, for the first time something in my mind or my instincts or my heart told me to join her.
She defied me.
She challenged me.
She gave me hope.
Before I knew it, moving forward was my only option.
I couldn’t tell you when it happened, but it had to have been a gradual change; I never moved too quickly.
If someone would have told me earlier that year what I was going to go through, I wouldn't have believed them.
Jesse was so different from anyone I’d met before. And everyone I’ve met since. He sucked all the life out of me, in the best—and worst—ways.
We don’t get strong overnight. For most of us it takes time. Strength isn’t measured by how high and fast our walls go up, but how easily we can watch them fall.
Warning: This book contains material that might be a trigger for some readers. Abuse and rape are implied, but not described in detail. Discretion is advised.
Disclaimer: This review was written by my sister. She hijacked my Kindle, because she was in the mood to read. Since I tend to give my sister whatever she wants (she seems to have some kind of mind control over me), she ended up reading this ARC. Thankfully, I was able to convince her to write a review (after many threats and pleading), since I let her (I like to pretend that I could’ve stopped her) read an ARC I was really looking forward to reading.
She doesn’t love her self. Not one single part. Except her streak of compassion that everyone seems to take advantage of, especially him. So, Charlie walks through life hoping to be ignored and dreading the consequences of being seen, until she meets Jesse. He has his own demons that he has no idea how to escape. He’s a detached and stormy, 25-year-old delivery guy, that raises red flags only a fool would ignore. But knowing her own fragility doesn’t make her any stronger…
As the lines between friendship, parasitism and love become more and more blurred each begin to embark on a journey of metamorphosis and self acceptance.
Progress caught me off guard. My first glimpse at Charlie made me do a double take. She is a truly unique specimen, that was heartbreaking to watch, and to feel. She’s immensely complex, and I loved that. She made me think back to all of the quips that I’ve dealt to people who were different. All the times when what might have seemed like a harmless joke, could have made someone feel infinitesimally small. It made me a little bit ashamed of humanity and myself. Yet, Charlie’s brokenness and the hurt that she has endured her whole life didn’t match up with the compassion she offered to those around her (this restored my faith in humanity). To those that didn’t necessarily deserve her compassion, time, or kindness; those people like Jesse.
I didn’t like Jesse. Which was why I was a little peeved at myself when I began to feel empathy for him. I didn’t want to feel for him, or understand his pain or selfishness, because that would be a justification for his selfish way of loving those around him, and his disregard for the way that his actions affected others. I didn’t want to feel for him. At times I found myself screaming at Charlie, ‘Grow a backbone and leave the loser alone!’ but as I delved deeper into Jesse’s troubled mind, I guess it made sense… Hurt people, hurt people. It’s a vicious cycle that only people who are selfless like Charlie can break by continuing to love the broken pieces of each other. But that task comes with an acceptance of the fact that they risk cutting themselves on the broken pieces of others. I don’t know if I could be like Charlie.
All in all, Progress was a good read. I enjoyed the writing, and highlighted a few noteworthy quotes. I liked that it made me think. I liked the pace, and never felt bored while reading it. The outcome was a bit abrupt, so some might be left wanting more, but for me, the ending was just what I wanted, and I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the other books. We’ll see… I would definitely recommend it.
And that’s J bird’s review. She’s a pretty tough critic, and is very smart, so I trust her opinion. If she recommends this book then I do too.