Jul 10, 2018

 

Book Review - The Game Has Changed (by D.L. Wu)


Title:
The Game Has Changed

Series: -
Author: D. L. Wu
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publisher: Almond Hearts Press
Release Date: December 6th, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 322



"Live like there’s no tomorrow. Love like it’s your last.

At the tender age of seventeen, Jaime Johnson feels as if she’s lived a thousand lives. Tragedy has struck her household and her father has been unexpectedly taken from her in the most horrific way. Lost within her grief, she’s unsure as to whether she’ll be able to bounce back from the pain that threatens to consume her every day. Yet for the sake of her beloved family, she’s determined to find the strength within herself to continue on, no matter the cost.

Her life soon takes a sordid turn when the beautiful and enigmatic Evan Baedeker crosses her path. Bruised and bloodied from an obvious car accident, Jaime knows she needs to stay away from him. Yet with him standing smack dab in the middle of her path to freedom, her only means of escape is practically non-existent. Kidnapped and catapulted into a cross-country trip against her will, she knows she’ll need to think of something, and fast, if she’s to make it out of the situation she now finds herself in unscathed.

Evan certainly doesn’t make things any easier for her. In his eyes, Jaime is his ticket to making it back home in one piece before the authorities catch up with him, once and for all. Unfortunately, the more time she spends with him, the more she finds herself falling under his very spell. Something she knows she shouldn’t allow herself to do if she’s to keep her heart from being broken in the long run."

(click to read an excerpt on Kobo)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was asked to be a beta-reader for the original manuscript. Even though this isn’t my preferred genre I decided to give it a try.

The Plot
Evan Baedeker is a 26 years old professional movie stuntman. After a drug deal gone wrong and a brutal murder, Evan is on the run from the authorities, driving from New York City to Malibu. After a car accident on a stormy night he's left injured and without a car. Desperate, he heads to the nearest town looking for a new ride.

Jaime Johnson is a 17 year old girl who just lost her only remaining parent, living with her uncles and trying to get her life back on track. On her first day back at school she stops by her favorite ice scream parlor when Evan walks in and offers to buy her car. When Jaime refuses to part with her father's car, even for an astronomical amount of money, Evan forces her to join him on his run across the country at gun point.

The Good
"The Game has Changed" is an exciting story that holds your breath from start to finish and draws you to the characters and their respective journeys of self-discovery. The narrative is neither boring and needlessly long, nor too short and meaningless but to the point, keeping you focused, interested and wanting to know what happens next. The dialogs are witty and smart, some will make you laugh at times and side with one or the other character.

Both Evan and Jamie are flawed characters, trapped in their own problems and different objectives. You feel ambivalent at first as to whether or not to like them, each of them can really get on your nerves sometimes. As the story progresses during the long journey across the country you can't help but empathize with their conflicting feelings and emotions as their relationship develops through a roller coaster of ups and downs. Whether it’s a typical example of a Stockholm Syndrome case or real love, it’s still a fun believable read. Both characters grow in ways they never expected and the person they start as is not the same at the end of the journey.

The Not So Good
There is an attempted rape scene about halfway through the plot so if you’re particularly sensitive to the subject you might want to skip this small section of the story.

Final Rating
All in all and enjoyable ride that spikes your imagination and leaves you wanting for more. Recommended for those who enjoy young adult romance and on the run stories.


• • • •

- About the Author -
D. L. Wu is a married mother of three beautiful children. She loves to write, and has been doing so quite steadily since she was twelve-years-old. This is her first attempt at publishing a work. She loves traveling, listening to rock music, and watching films of all types; her favorites being of the sci-fi/adventure genre such as the Star Wars series. She also considers herself a super geek because she loves attending Comic-Con every year.

(source: Amazon.com)
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