Title: Different Roads
Author: Lori L. Clark
Published: January 23rd, 2013
Book rating: 2 stars
Cover rating: 3 stars
It's been said that when we look back over our lives, we are able to recognize the pivotal moments that in some way, shape, or form have led us to where we are today.
When Jacqueline Carter is fifteen, she crosses paths for the first time with Seth Thomas, a young man who unwittingly alters the direction of her life forever.
Jaq plans to break-up with her boyfriend on her sixteenth birthday. Instead, she is date-raped, and left emotionally broken. She builds a wall around her heart and begins spiraling downward on a road filled with drinking, drugs and physical abuse.
When Seth re-enters her life a few years later, the walls around her heart slowly come down and the two of them fall in love.
Unfortunately sometimes, fate has other ideas, and we're forced down a different road from which we initially set out.
Back in May I was contacted by Lori and she offered to provide me with a copy of Different Roads to read and review. I checked out the blurb and happily jumped on the chance to read it. It sounded like an amazing story and I felt it had true potential. After reading it I was sadly disappointed.
We start off meeting Jaq at age fifteen and experience with her one of the most traumatic things that can happen to anyone, being raped. Jaq goes to this party with her boyfriend and best friend, during this party she meets Seth briefly, and then later that night sadly suffers being raped by her boyfriend. The book then jumps forward a few years and we see how this has affected Jaq, causing her to spiral into this self destructive negative pattern. She's drinking, doing every drug you can think of, and sleeping with every Tom Dick and Harry she sees. All of this is explained within one chapter and then we're told at the age of eighteen she finally realized she wasn't helping herself and needed to get it together. I really would have liked to see her more and experience the 'after' with her rather than just be told how she acted. I think I could have emotionally connected with her more than I did. After this chapter it's awhile later, I'm not exactly sure how old she is at this point but I think it's eighteen, and thankfully Jaq has gotten her act together and straightened her life up. She is now working at a garage and has become one of the boys in the little family within her work place and is soon moving in with her best friend Shelley. Shortly after this we find her going to another party and experiencing yet another really awful tragic event. At this point I felt she should just stop going to parties because they obviously were no good for her. Throughout this night she sees Damon Blackwell, a guy she met earlier on, and THE Seth from the night of her rape. She ends up going home with Seth and that's when all shit really hits the fan again. I'm not going to ruin the story for others but because of what happens Jaq slips into a sort of depression and Seth is there for her through it all, even if it is from a distance at times. Over time she moves on from the tragic event she was mourning and ends up dating Seth. This is when we experience insta love and it definitely was not my cup of tea. They've met all of two times and yes Seth was sort of there for her during a hard time but I don't feel like enough happened between them for them to be madly in love. There wasn't enough relationship building for me. For whatever reason later on in the book Seth and Jaq break up and she ends up going out with Damon Blackwell, who is a disgusting piece of shit to say the least. Lori definitely portrayed his abusive and aggressive character well but I also feel like this relationship along with Seth and Jaq's relationship was just skipped through. We only got to see little snippets and there wasn't really any build up. One second Damon and Jaq were having awesome sex and she was doing okay the next he's beating the shit out of her apparently? It came out of nowhere and wasn't explained very well.
How Lori wraps this story up was definitely not something I expected and it was really sad. The epilogue was okay for me, I could feel that Seth loved Jaq through it but then that brings me back to the insta love problem and also, why didn't he try to fix their relationship earlier on if he loved her so much? I wanted to like this book and I felt like it had great potential because Lori managed to write very raw when it came to the difficult subjects but it just felt very rushed and lacking with relationship building and explanation/detail. This might be the perfect tragic story for someone else but it just wasn't for me.
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