Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

Pages: 331
Genre: New Adult/Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: September 1, 2012
Source: Personal copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.  Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.  Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything."

You can't help but sympathize with Harper.  She didn't have the normal high school experience that most girls have. She grew up with her Marine father who was emotionally unavailable and to top it off, she was home-schooled so she didn't have many friends other than marines.  When she has her chance to go away to school at San Diego State, she jumps on it and everything starts to change for her.  She meets her college roommate, Breanna, who is her polar opposite and she takes Harper under her wing.  Harper goes to her first party and there she meets Breanna's bad boy brother, Chase, and she's thrown into the college life of parties, flirting, drinking, and simply having fun.  Chase is the kind of guy that her father would hate. He parties, has tattoos, goes through girls like Kleenexes, and is drop dead gorgeous.  She instantly feels attracted to him, even though she knows she shouldn't.  To complicate matters further, she also meets Brandon, Chase's roommate, who is also super good looking, charismatic, strong, and fights in the Underground.  She hits it off with him as well.  Not bad for a girl who just started dating this year!  As the school year progresses, she dates Brandon seriously, but why can't she stop thinking of Chase?  Taking Chances by Molly McAdams is an extremely addicting debut that had me running through a gamut of emotions.

Even though love triangles are starting to bore me and feel overdone, Taking Chances did not.  McAdams really does a good job with making this love triangle dramatic, steamy, and oh-so-addicting.  I couldn't wait to read more and figure out what Harper was going to do with these two ridiculously good looking guys.  It was very Vampire Diaries (one of my favorite love triangles); in fact, Harper compares herself to Elena at one point in the novel.

Oh, the drama.  Seriously. Taking Chances was like watching a marathon of one of my favorite shows, Beverly Hills, 90210 (the Brenda years, of course!).  It was full of everything.  Romance, betrayal, friendship, family issues, first love, mistakes, regret, college fun, drama, and oh, did I mention romance? There were some amazing and steamy scenes in Taking Chances that had me blushing, which is why this novel falls under the umbrella of "new adult."  So, only mature readers should pick up Taking Chances, which means it is staying far away from my classroom library.

It is really hard to review Taking Chances, because of the plot twists.  Let's just say that there were certain points of the novel where I was shocked; my mouth was hanging open and I kept re-reading this one particular scene. It was emotional and heart-wrenching. Taking Chances isn't your usual story about a love triangle; it goes much, much deeper.

Taking Chances isn't a perfect read in my eyes. I did have some issues with some of the nicknames in the book (blech- too sweet for my taste), how everyone happens to LOVE Harper (people were so accepting of her all the time) and a few other discrepancies that I can't mention for fear of spoilers, but all in all, these issues didn't bother me tremendously. I was still addicted and I was even thinking about Taking Chances long after it was over.  I was impressed to find out that McAdams originally self-published Taking Chances and Harper Collins has now picked it up. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on McAdams and can't wait to read her next book, From Ashes. In sum, if you are looking for a "new adult" novel to curl up with this fall and winter, I recommend Taking Chances.  Plus, the e-book is currently $2.99-- that's a steal!


  1. So glad you loved this one just like I did! I had a couple of the same issues you had with this one, but overall it's such an addicting read. I couldn't get enough! Love all the drama! :)

  2. The love triangle in TVD is the only one I deal with in a positive way. Thanks for putting this on my radar.

  3. Leanna - I loved all the drama! It was a fun read. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. New adult -- I like that description! And this one sounds deliciously dramatic... perfect for when I want to sink into something and get hooked. I'll have to look for it!


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