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279 pages, ebook
First published June 11, 2013
“You are one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met, Livie. You respond to human heartache so acutely. It’s like you absorb other’s pain. Despite your extreme shyness, you will do just about anything not to fail. It’s time to find out who you really are.”
“And he’s pretty much the hottest guy at this school. And also a giant ass. And a bit of a man whore.”I pretty much loved Ash from the start. He’s a jerk, an ass, a man whore, and just perfect. Except for one little thing... he has a girlfriend. Livie finds out about that only after she spends the evening drunk and wild with him. She tries to avoid him at all costs, even meets someone else. Connor. Connor is a nice guy. Just the type of guy she SHOULD be dating, but there is something missing there. He’s not Ashton. Ashton and Connor are best friends, things get complicated. The more time Livie spends with Ash, the more she learns about him. She see’s the real him. At least the parts he will let her see. Ashton doesn’t have the perfect easy going life he shows to the outside.
Life’s all about trial and error.
“Irish, if there’s one thing I’ve never been able to forget, it’s a single second with you.”
"... you're not a fuck-buddy kind of girl and he's not boyfriend material. Clearly."
"He looks away for a minute and I watch his jaw clench... "Because you're not a one-night-stand girl, Irish." Leaning in to place a kiss on my jawline, he whispers. "You're my forever girl."
"Life has a funny way of creating it's own tests. It throws curve balls that make you do and think and feel things that are in direct conflict with what you had planned and don't allow you to operate in terms of black and white."
"Because you’re not a one-night girl, Irish. You’re my forever girl."
"He's pretty much the hottest guy at the school." She takes a sip of her beer. "And also a giant ass."
"That much I gathered."
"And a bit of a man whore."
Ash: here are your fries, Irish.
Liv: Thanks Ash, can you pass me the salt please?
Ash: Those fries are salty enough, Irish. You can't risk gaining your first fifteen seeing as you can't jog without tripping, Irish.
Liv: but it's organic potatoes!
Ash: nope sorry, Irish. Gonna go out in the rain and run shirtless now, Irish. The world implores me to.
“The only thing I regret is that it ever ended. And I’m the one who’s jealous. Insanely so.”
“1.) I’m brilliant
2.) I’m charming
3.) I’m hung like a thoroughbred
4.) I’ve stopped all philandering
5.) I’m highly skilled, as you’ve learned the other night.
P.S. Stop staring at my hands. I know what you want me to do with them.”
“I feel as though I’ve entered some strange twilight zone where everything I know has been turned upside down.”
"Life has a funny way of creating its own tests. It throws curve balls that make you do and think and feel things that are in direct conflict with what you had planned and don't allow you to operate in terms of black and white."
"I don't have all the pieces to fix this beautiful, trapped, broken man, but I do have one piece and it's mine to give. For one night, for all nights. For however long he wants it. Me. Completely.”
”Life’s all about trial and error.”
“Life has a funny way of creating its own tests. It throws curve balls that make you do and think and feel things that are in direct conflict with what you had planned and don't allow you to operate in terms of black and white.”
↳ Livie Cleary = main heroine (h), innocent, indecisive, freshman at Princeton University, perfectionist, people pleaser
↳ Ashton Henley =main hero, captain of the rowing team, broody, aloof, senior, hopes to become a pilot one day
— “And he’s pretty much the hottest guy at this school. And also a giant ass. And a bit of a man whore.”
⇲ Season 1 - innocence: Livie was very innocent. She put all her energy into school and appeasing her parents wishes that she never had time for boys. So, Ashton was her first for everything and she was shy about each new moment they shared. Ashton even reframed from stating previous hook ups were just a "fuck" so it would not offend or make Livie blush. This reminded me of Dean and Rory in the beginning of their relationship.
⇲ Season 3 - Jess + Rory: Ashton and Livie had an instant connection similar to Jess and Rory. Ashton was a charmer like Jess. I felt Ashton and Livie relationship mirrored how Jess and Rory got together. This association is partly why I rooted for them still to end up together.
⇲ Season 4/5 - Rory being the OW + going to college: THIS IS WHERE IT BECAME QUESTIONABLE. The cheating that happened reminded so much of the Rory and Dean situation which only further annoyed me about what was happening with this messed up love square. Similar to Rory, Livie also shut out those who cared about her and would not talk about it until things fell apart.
➳ This book was problematic in many ways but something kept me reading. I think that Ashton's character development showed in the last ~20% and made the book more redeemable to me. He screwed up in epic proportions but he was struggling with things he felt he had no control over in his life. It wasn't until Livie got emotionally hurt that he realized he needed to fight for his freedom from under his father's control and he did.
⤑ This book contains cheating + OW/OM drama
⤑ Tropes: kinda enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, virgin heroine, journey to find oneself
⤑ ⚠️ Trigger Warning: ⚠️ descriptive discussion of physical and emotional abuse
⤑ A lack of content for relationship development: there was only one scene showing them as an actual couple in the book