Curve by Nicola Hudson
Published: 25 October 2013
Format: Kindle e-book (ARC)
Buy the e-book: Kindle|KindleUS
Source: Received free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Nicola!
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Cass is seventeen and never been kissed, let alone touched, when two boys become interested in her. Flynn is the older brother of her best friend, yet Cass has never considered him as anything other than that. Rob is the school sports star and becomes obsessed with Cass when he loses a bet because of her. As the relationship between Cass and Flynn develops, Rob's interest becomes increasingly malevolent. One night changes Cass's life and threatens to destroy her relationship with Flynn, as well as her future
Curve tells the story of seventeen year old Cass who does the unthinkable and falls for her best friend's brother. With working in her stepdad's shop, applying for university and dealing with incidents of bullying, can she and Flynn ever be happy?
There was a lot to like about Curve, so I'm going to start out with the positives. This is one of the few British NA books I've read and that was wonderful and refreshing. I think it made a lot of what Cass goes through even more recognisable. I loved seeing her juggle her life at sixth form with a job in her family's shop, because I think that work/college battle is something a lot of people are struggling with right now. I think the author has managed to sum up that time of life perfectly, and that a lot of people will be able to relate to it.
I really enjoyed the friendship between Cass and her best friend Neve. It was just so nice to see two girls getting on so well and not being bitchy and horrible too each other. They were so natural around each other I loved that they always had each other's backs. I think everyone wants a friendship like theirs!
The central relationship between Cass and Flynn is one I did enjoy. It took me a while to decide whether or not I liked them together, as Flynn is quite protective of Cass. I think you can take it one of two ways, and I chose to take it that he was genuinely caring about her and was sort of her knight in shining armour.
The book deals with some very dark issues which I mention in this review in case they are trigger warnings for anyone planning to read the book. There is a scene of sexual assault which is then followed through with a police investigation. I found the whole thing to be handled extremely well and I think it was really encouraging to see a character seeking out help and talking about her ordeal.
I did have a few niggles with Curve. The dialogue was a bit of a struggle for me because one of my biggest pet peeves whilst reading is clunky dialogue. Unfortunately this book falls into the trap of characters using each other's names far too frequently, which is something that just doesn't happen in every day speech. In this case it was done almost every sentence so it just jumped out for me.
I also had a dilemma when it came to Cass's guilt when things are going wrong with Flynn. She takes responsibility for things I don't think are really her fault, and sometimes the fact she feels she has to apologise for things made me uncomfortable. I say this is a dilemma because while this is an attitude I don't like to see promoted in relationships, I know it is very realistic for girls to feel like this, so in that sense the book is being true to life. I think you have to really get inside the head of Cass as a naïve and inexperienced teenager to see things from her point of view to understand those feelings she has.
I think there's real potential in this book and that it will really appeal to NA fans looking for something a little bit different. I applaud the author for taking on the subject of sexual assault and doing it so well, and also for capturing that time of life where university is looming in the distance and suddenly your whole life is about to change so well. Cass goes on a real journey and I did enjoy taking it with her.
Books like this: The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski, Falling Fast by Sophie McKenzie