Monday, November 28, 2011

Unlovable by Sherry Gammon: Review by AimeeKay

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!


  1. 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.

    I do admit it might be an issue. On the one hand the author wanted to give poor Maggie an adult boyfriend who can take care of her, on the other hand, when you think about it with the relation to real life it sound kind of sick...thanks for your review, AimeeKay!

  2. I love this book cover and what a great review, many thanks AimeeKay

  3. Hmmm... I still need to read this one! I won it a few months ago and still haven't gotten to it! But it does sound interesting! The whole 17/21 thing doesn't bother me though! :)

  4. The age difference in this one doesn't really irk me so much, maybe because my parents were 18 and 21 when they met so I like to think it wasn't a slimy situation:) I can definitely understand how Maggie's situation with her mother and Seth's job would make their age difference seem greater though, and can see how it might be bothersome for some readers. Thanks for such a thorough review!

  5. I don't have a problem with that age difference other than he was a cop---there on a job. Though he was a 21 year old guy and well I haven't met one that is mature LOL (even when I was 21)!

    Sounds like an intriguing book that will get lots of extreme (good and bad) reactions.

  6. Great review, thank you. I admire how you can tell why you don't like a book.

  7. I don't think I would have been bothered by the age thing at all unless Maggie was protrayed as immature for her age, but it doesn't sound like she was. Their relationships actually sounds like an interesting dynamic.

  8. I really don't know anything about 21 Jump Street but now I'm intrigued. It must be funny to see the two characters together, even if it's not very different, it's not always the same thing.

  9. As always Thanks AimeeKay for the review!

    I'm not sure if the age diff would bother me, since it's not too bad, but I can see how others would cringe at it. I think you did a great job at getting people to think about it!

  10. I could see how it would bother you, it would surely have bothered me too, until I found out that he was 21, so no biggie then

  11. It did bother me a bit in the beginning, but I learn to enjoy the story more. I did like that strayed away from sex and even joked about her being jailbait. I want to second book already!

  12. Hmm. I'm really curious about this one! The cover is awesome! You made some great points in your review too at least now I know what to expect! :)

    Xpresso Reads

  13. I'm reading this one now and it's really good. The age thing doesn't bother me and I'm just too old to remember or even have watched 21 Jump Street so the reference totally goes over my head.

    Maybe it's the fact that he's out in the workforce and an adult while she's a student in high school, but there is no shortage of 17 or 18 yr olds dating 21 yr olds these days. Maybe the fact that he lied by omission?

    I do love that you told what you didn't like about the book with no reserve yet you still want to read the next book. It shows that Gammon knows how to weave a good story. And I have to agree with others, that cover is beautiful!


  14. Mmm. Yeah, the cop having a relationship with a minor is wrong in all different levels, especially since she's already in a vulnerable place to begin with.

  15. I really want to read this! Shame it was a bit of a miss - and I didn't realise it was part of a series either! I'll still give it a go... eventually.

  16. Several of the issues you brought up would bother me as well, such as the 17 yr old protagonist getting involved with a cop and the undeveloped characters. It's a shame because this does sound like it would be a really good book otherwise.

  17. Thanks guys! I'm always unsure how my review will be taken when I don't like 100% of a book. Glad I was able to be clear about what I didn't like, but still let you know how much I really liked Gammon's writing!

    P.S.- I loved the cover too!

    As for the 21 Jump Street reference...Yes, I'm that old I remember when it was on T.V.
    I also have a major obsession with Johnny Depp.

  18. Aimee, I love that you said exactly how you felt about this book. The age difference didn't bother me in the book, but then again at the age of 17 I totally would have dated a 21 year old and not blinked an eye and neither would my parents, LOL. However, not everyone is peachy keen with that, so it's fun to read differing reviews. I think you presented it excellently, by the way!

  19. Nice blog.. Its very impressive & Appriciable.Keep it up.. Now you can live like Maharajas in their Palaces and Forts.Then relax in Goa, and enjoy your beach holidays in India.


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