T.H. Hernandez's Reviews > Pepped Up Forever

Pepped Up Forever by Ali Dean
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4-1/2 Stars.

I had bittersweet feelings diving into this one, knowing it was the last book in Pepper's saga. The story picks up more than a year after the end of Pep Talks. Pepper and Jace are still apart, but otherwise, life in Brockton has settled into normal, well a new normal. One where Pepper's friends are in stable relationships while she is still single and focused on running and her future. While she can tell Jace has changed, she's too afraid of his ability to break her to let him back in. Jace is reeling from the biggest mistake he ever made and at a loss for how to fix things with Pepper.

This book is relatively short at only 180 pages and I would have liked more. The story itself is fine, building to an intense climax and wrapping up loose ends before rolling into a satisfying conclusion. But there are elements that are shared in summary form after they happen and would have been great to have been shown in real time. Other than that, I like the character development, the overall arc, and the emotions this story evoked.

Plot
There's a lot going on in this installment. Primarily, it's the story of Pepper and Jace and how they navigate the ever changing waters of their lifelong relationship. Both so clearly love the other, but Pepper is understandably gun-shy. Pepper is being pursued by Clayton Dennison and that drives some obvious conflict between Jace and Pepper. It's also the story of what happens with the rest of their lives. With Jace entering his last year of college, an NFL draft might be in his future, and Pepper needs to determine if her future lies in professional running. All plot points are addressed in a believable manner, but as I said, I did want more for some of them. I would have loved to see more struggles with some of the decisions that are made and more of Pepper's running.

Characters
The characters are still wonderful, fully-developed, and complex. I love the changes that both Pepper and Jace go through as they mature, and I love that Bunny is still Bunny, Pepper's wild, pot-smoking gran.

Writing
Other than including more exposition than I wanted, we get inside Pepper's head the way we always do, and I still love her thought processes.

Ending
I loved the ending. This is a satisfying conclusion to the series. Yes, I'll miss all the characters, but closure is good, too.

Top Five Things I love about Pepped Up Forever:
1. Buns. Everything about Pepper's fun-loving crazy grandmother is amped up in this finale.

2. Jace. He's got his issues, but his love for his family and friends is never in doubt -- only how he deals with his issues.

3. Pepper. She's still tenacious even if a bit unsure, but watching her process everything the way she does is always a treat.

4. Wes and Zoe. They're incredibly cute. I'd love a series with these two starring in it.

5. The ending. So perfect. And yeah, I still want more, but I'm finally okay with letting go.

Bottom Line
A worthy ending to a great series.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

September 17, 2015 – Shelved
September 17, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
October 2, 2015 – Finished Reading
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: arcs
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: books-i-ve-read-multiple-times
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: cant-wait-to-read
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: new-adult
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: romance
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: sports
January 11, 2016 – Shelved as: ya-to-na

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