Greetings! So my tour on the Rusty Dagger has ended. :( Boo! Hopefully they will be looking for a new crew again soon! Until then I am enjoying my shore leave, and just in time for the holidays too! So here is the latest book Melissa has sent me. Unlovable by Sherry Gammon.
Port Fare, New York, has fallen into the clutches of true evil. The Dreser brothers have arrived with a scheme to increase drug sales in the area by whatever means possible. Seth Prescott is part of MET (Mobile Enforcement Teams) a branch of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). He's been assigned to work undercover at Port Fare High, and things aren't going very well, until senior Maggie Brown enters the equation. He's harbored a secret crush on her from day one, and now that she is in the center of the case, he's trying to stay clear and objective while walking the line between business and unrequited love.
Maggie is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes, but is she an addict, or is there another reason for her appearance? She struggles with her feelings for Seth, fearing he is just another person who will eventually let her down, as everyone in her life has done thus far.
Maggie has spent her life caring for her alcoholic mother. A task that has left her heavily burdened and alone. Before long, her mother's health takes a turn for the worst, sending Maggie's life into a tale-spin.
While Seth works relentlessly to inject fear into the dealers and flush them out into the open, Maggie fights to stay alive as the hunt turns deadly.
Seth and Maggie's romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak, and self-discovery.
*SIGH* When I first began reading this book I couldn't escape from images of 21 Jump Street. Baby-faced undercover operatives busting drug dealers in school... The problem is that this was not the biggest problem I had with the book. I'm sorry, let me digress a little, and tell you about the book first.
Seth Prescott is one of a team of undercover agents that is assigned to the high school in Port Fare. He original assignment was to get close to the in crowd and see if they were in any way involved with the heroin that was bombarding the town. Then his agency gets a lead that Maggie's mother might be involved with the heroin ring and he is told he is to get close to Maggie in an effort to find out what is going on with her mom.
Maggie is 17 and, while she looks like she is a heroin addict she is not. She is simply starving to death because her mother is drinking their money away.
I really liked the story itself. Gammon's characters are well drawn and she really seems to understand what motivates them. She also didn't shy away from the issues that Maggie faces as the child of an addict. While I thought that Maggie was foolish, I could understand why she made the choices she did. Her need to cover for her mom, and her constant need for her moms love were driving forces that I've seen in real life, and therefore they made the story feel real. I felt bad for her because she was stuck in a co-dependant relationship with her mom, that brought her nothing but abuse and heartache. I feel bad now because I am going to throw more abuse and heartache on her, because I just can't give this book a glowing review.
*double sigh* OK. First the storyline itself reminded me A LOT of 21 Jump Street. This in itself however I feel can be ignored since that t.v. show was A LONG time ago, and while it is popular because of it's actors that it helped give a career jump start, it is not really remembered anymore.
Also story wise, Gammon is very good at fleshing out her characters. But, yes of course there's a but. BUT, for some reason she goes into in depth descriptions of certain characters and leaves others kind of bland. For example there is a library clerk who you find out isn't into drugs, even though she looks like she is, and is very into tattoos. In fact she is given free reign to tell Maggie all about her boyfriend and why she got a werewolf tattoo for him and how he is the best one on a video game about said werewolves. However one of Seth's closest friends, Cole, really didn't seem to stand out at all. I took away from the novel that he is an accident prone workaholic and he's incredibly sexy and smart. But other than that he just seemed flat. Again, this I would have commented on but isn't the main reason I disliked the book. I assume Cole will be fleshed out more in the next book in the series, since it says at the end of the book that book 2 is all about Cole. So maybe she was holding more of him back since he wasn't as involved with Maggie as say Booker, Seth's boss and close friend, was. If these were my main issues with the book I would end the review here and tell you it's a good read to pick up for the holiday season and that it was a strong start to what looks to be a promising series. Because I liked the characters, I liked Port Fare, I really did.
The thing is the whole relationship between Seth and Maggie just left a REALLY bad taste in my mouth. She is 17. I know, I know she is a MATURE 17, but she is still 17. I didn't find out how old Seth really was until after half-way through the book. So I was really relieved to find out that he is only 21. (At least he wasn't pushing 30 with a thing for little girls) And in reality if Maggie was 18 going on 19 and was already out of high school I probably wouldn't have batted an eye. But Seth is supposed to be this highly intelligent, dedicated cop. A police officer! Yes he is undercover, but even before he is told to start "getting close" to Maggie he is already checking her out at school. Yech! Sorry it just feels really slimy. I mean he has tons of money, is sexy, bright, and has a heart of gold, but he isn't interested in anyone his own age. Instead, he is checking out some random girl at the school he is working undercover at. His boss, Booker even encourages him to go after her! and not just to get the evidence for their case! Booker even tries to get them back together after they have their inevitable falling out when Maggie finds out who Seth really is. But all the while he calls her "jail-bait", he even goes so far as to call her that to her face! So you know he knows there is an age issue.
Of course Maggie isn't bothered by the age difference, she is more concerned with the fact that Seth didn't tell her who he was to begin with. But that is exactly how most 17 year olds would feel, because they are young and in love. Besides the fact that Maggie has a whole other additional set of emotional and mental issues from the years of abuse from her mom. So I can forgive Maggie for not caring about the age, and as I said before if she was only a year older I wouldn't have had an issue with it either. Seth even redeems himself somewhat by telling her he believes they should wait until they are married before they have sex. But still the whole time I was reading the book I couldn't shake the fact that this adult male cop was eyeing up a teen-age girl. The more I found out about how abused poor Maggie was the more I wanted to just smack Seth for taking advantage of a confused young girl. Ok I understand she is 17 and turns 18 during the course of the story. Fine. Whatever. I'm just saying why I really didn't like the book.
The messed up part is I would gladly read the rest of the series. I liked Gammon's writing and I liked her story and her characters. I want to find out where she is going with the bad guys, a crime family by the name of Dreser, and how she is going to work them into the other books in the series. I want to find out more about Cole. I would love to see how Booker handles falling in love, having kids, and then having some college kid sniffing around his teen-age daughter. (sorry the whole scenario just really bugs me)
Anyway, Until next time!
Hope all of you have a Happy Holidays! Stay warm and stay safe!