Not too long ago I was introduced to the wonderful world of audio books, thanks to all the amazing Wattpad stories finding their way to the audio world thanks to their recent partnership with Hachette. Before that, I will admit, I was old school in my love of paperbacks, tangible in my hand. But now…my eyes have been opened, and if my first two experiences in this realm are any indication of what I have to look forward to, I am a happy girl!
I recently had the incredible opportunity to listen to the audio book of Cheater, Faker, Trouble Maker by Jenny Rosen, Wattpad Star and all around awesome person, thanks to Hachette and Wattpad bringing her story to my ears. I had a feeling it would be a good one, partly due to its almost 13 million reads, Watty award winning status, but mostly because Jenny sure knows how to write. But nothing could have prepared me for the journey I embarked on with this story, as he make me laugh, tore at my heart, and had me wanting to throw my phone across the room more than once.
Here is a little blurb for those of you who havent had the chance to check this gem out:
When a late night fight between Alex Summers and her ex goes terribly wrong, she’s lucky to find the silver lining in narrowly escaping with her life. After six months of therapy pushes her to a breaking point, her parents ship her off to spend a stress-free summer in Los Angeles. But Alex stumbles into boy trouble the second she steps off the plane. Enter, Elias King, walking disaster. Still reeling from the aftermath of a crime he can’t remember committing, he’s hell bent on destroying anything and everything he comes in contact with–including, Alex. When Alex and Elias find themselves stuck living under the same roof, their night-and-day differences set them on the warpath to destroy each other. Elias bets he can break her heart and take her virginity in thirty-days or less. While Alex swears she can keep him one-night stand-free, and have him sober by the end of the summer. All’s fair in love and war, if you’re playing it safe. But this time around, there’s no rules and no limits.
Right from the start, you see yourself as Alex. She is relatable, sarcastic, and has a complete no nonsense take on life. Of course, this is probably in part due to her less than positive experiences that brought her across the world and to Los Angeles, face to face with the catalyst for the entire story. You dont have to have gone through something as Alex had to understand where she is coming from. We’ve all had our heart broken, all had a piece of ourselves damaged from a messy breakup. Right from chapter one, Alex makes it clear that she has no interest in the opposite sex. They cannot be trusted, so, she has evoked a strict celibacy plan for the rest of the summer.
Of course, that wouldnt make much of a book. Enter Elias. Cocky, sexy, and so obviously broken you are drawn into his quick whit and band handed interactions with Alex from their first stand off that has her kicking him in the shin and walking away from him in the middle of the airport. They are opposite in every way, except one. They are both damaged, and feel beyond repair.
But, again, Rosen throws in another twist, in the form of Kai. Sexy, sweet, older college boy who crashes his way into Alexs life and Elias (literally) and shows her exactly what a true romance could be. He says the right things, does the right things, and makes her feel safe. And yet, she cant stop thinking about Elias.
The two face off time and time again, Elias enticing Alex, pulling her in, before pushing her away with his harsh, self destructive ways. He loves the fact shes a virgin, taking her innocence as a challenge and yet another distraction from everything he is running from. Alex is determined to prove him wrong, and that he isnt as charming as he thinks he is.
But beyond the expect conflict of good versus evil in teen world with dramatics, accusations and stolen kisses, you find yourself aching for what Elias as suffered. He is broken. He is damaged. And most of it is his own doing, as he tries to cope with an act he still hasnt forgiven himself for. It is this painful vulnerability in him that draws you in, and before you know whats happening, you are falling for him yourself. For all the things he wished he had the courage to do. All the things he wishes he could say to Alex, and for the person he wishes he was, if he hadnt lost the one person who ever made him feel like he was more than the messed up screw up he thinks he is.
It is a heartbreakingly honest story of first love, finding yourself, and learning how to move on when you think here is nothing left. And by the end of the first audio book, you are screaming at them both, as they break what is left of your heart.
Well played, Jenny. Now give me more!
I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, able to close my eyes and picture it all so clearly, I felt like the characters were real. Their actions had consequences, and you find yourself rooting for them to make the right choice, when all they seem to do is make you groan in exquisite frustration until the early hours of the morning, because you just cant make yourself pause the story until tomorrow.
Now, I always try to come up with one area of improvement for each review, and with this one it is admittedly difficult. The story, to me, was perfect in plot, pace and emotion, captivating your attention from the first line. But I will admit, the voice of Elias made me struggle at times. While pleasant and smooth, the cadence felt slow, the inflections forced, and it was a little off putting at some of the most emotionally charged points in the tale.
Overall, it was an incredible story, wrapping you up in a world of broken hearts, teasing bets, and sexy boys who make you want to give up all your inhibitions with just one smile. It is definitely a tale I recommend strongly, so if you have the chance, grab your copy from Hachette audio asap! Trust me, you wont be sorry.
And then you get to the end, let me know if you screamed like I did. I want to know that I am not alone.