Monday, November 21, 2011

Review of Cross my heart by Katie Klein

Cross my heart—Katie Klein

Jaden McIntyre the main character in Cross my heart is an all around good person. She throws fundraisers for everything, from feeding the children in third world countries to raising money to battle glaucoma. She is all work and no play.

Everyone sees her as Ms. Perfect, the girl striving for excellence at everything she does. She has the boyfriend on the basketball team. A really great best friend. And an ideal family life. What more could she want?

While doing a fundraiser Jaden is late for class. She thinks this is no biggie because she also works in the office and practically writes hall passes herself. But this time it doesn’t work as well as she plans and she ends up paired with the boy in her class that everyone calls the “loner”. There are many rumors flying around school about Parker Whalen and they have bad written all over them. But Jaden isn’t about to let this get in the way of her good grades. She is determined to find a way to partner with Parker and make the best of it.

Parker isn’t so happy about their union and simply ignores Jaden altogether. It’s not until she corners him and literally forces him to speak to her that she gets anywhere with the antisocial guy. Parker sees Jaden as the most boring person at the school. And he lets her know this right off the bat. Soon Jaden realizes it’s not going to be as easy as she thought to be partners with the kid from the wrong side of the track.

Soon Jaden seems to be moving past the hard exterior and learning more and more about Parker. He isn’t the social misfit everyone thinks he is. He is smart, and has a lot to say. He is actually witty and has a funny personality. Parker doesn’t care what others think of him and this at times is frustrating for Jaden. She can’t always handle his quick wit and matter of fact personality, probably because he tells her the ugly truth—something she doesn’t like to hear.

The story centers on their school project. A report on a book about a dysfunctional love triangle. Jaden sees the story as tragic and finds it upsetting. While Parker sees sides to the story that she would have never thought of. The story brings up the discussion of love. And it’s obvious that Jaden is slowly finding herself wanting to know more about Parker. She devours the book in one night determined to prove to Parker that she isn’t just this boring girl. But I think it backfires because they exchange even more banter infused with a lot of subtle flirtation. You can see the bond grow stronger each time they meet. Each time they come together a little more is offered up from Parker. To the point Jaden is finding it hard to not look in his direction at school, and not think about him when he is not around. She even starts bringing him food because he never eats at school.

Soon her friends see the changes. They know there is something more than just a school project, but, Jaden is the only one who doesn’t want to admit it. Parker tells Jaden that she is bored, and wants to open her up to a whole new way of thinking. He wants to show her there is fun out there if she just will walk on the wild side. And after some prodding she does just that and gets even closer to him by way of motorcycles rides and late night meetings in her attic. All the while she feels horrible to be lying and hiding what she is doing from her boyfriend, friends and family.

Nobody but Jaden understands Parker. Everyone judges him and this is a bit upsetting to Jaden. She has to sneak to see him and ends up in some tricky situations because of it. In the end, she realizes that she is boring and safe. And she does have feelings for Parker. And the story turns into something I never expected.
As a reader I will say the writing was excellent. Katie Klein is an author capable of great conversation in this book. I loved the exchange between all the characters. It really felt real, like I was there witnessing it all. The story kept a good pace and never slowed or made me bored to tears.

Parker was a really swoon worthy guy in this story. I loved everything about him. He was so quick and blunt. He had a very callous attitude and it worked. I liked his over confidence when it came to Jaden. He didn’t have to go overboard to get her to want to be around him. He didn’t overstep his bounds with her at all. You couldn’t help but fall for Parker every time he opened his mouth and said something.
This book is Young adult; there wasn’t a whole lot of kissing or romance to the story. But I felt the connection even without. There was a tension between the characters that had you wanting and hoping for it to happen—and that’s always a good thing. If you’re looking for steamy this is not the story for you. But if you’re looking for a young adult romance that is sweet, moving and a good read, then this is the story for you.

As for negatives, the only issues I had through the entire book was the big part at the end. It wasn’t that I didn’t like what was going on with Parker. It was just a little unbelievable for me. And I actually had to read the part twice to make sure I understood what was happening. It kind of was a slap in the face. The kind you didn’t see coming. But I think maybe if I went back and read through, there were probably clues that I didn’t even take in.

I give the book five hearts!

Good read from a great author. I am a fan!

Favorite quotes from Cross my heart:

“He smirks, eyebrows lifting. “You’re surprised I’m capable of a thought-provoking conversation.”

“Aren’t we a little mature to be hiding in here? You’re not trying to get seven minutes out of me are you?”

“People believe what they want to believe. That’s not something you can change, whether you want to or not.”

“Why are you here? Does anyone really know why they’re here?” he counters.”

“Maybe I can stalk you again sometime.”

Buy your copy of Cross my heart by Katie Klein on Amazon.

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