Title: Love Notes
Author: Heather Gunter
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 2, 2013
How do you cope when the people you care for hurt you the most? When the way you feel on the outside, smothers you on the inside. And when you are left to face your demons alone, will you learn that only you have the power to overcome them? Charlie has never had it easy. Between the constant moving and the incessant fat comments and jokes from her father, her self-worth is nonexistent. Her reflection in the mirror shows her nothing but a plain Jane. Music is the only thing that keeps her sanity in check. Charlie catches the eye of the town star quarterback, Maverick. With her curves, her brunette hair, and the voice of an angel, Maverick has never met anyone like her. Everything that is different about Charlie just makes Maverick like her more. Unfortunately, Charlie doesn’t see it herself. Proving it to her may deem harder than he thinks, especially when tragedy strikes and tears them apart. Now standing on her own two feet she may finally learn exactly who she is, what’s she’s capable of and how very un plain Jane she really is.
I’m pressed firmly against him and place my hand on the hardness of his muscled chest. The nearness of him is intoxicating. My heart speeds up with the knowledge of what is inevitably going to happen next. Right now, I don't care how long I've known him or what the usual rules of dating dictate.
We are staring at each other eye to eye. “I’m going to kiss you now Charlie,” Maverick whispers.
At that moment, all I can do is nod. No words were going to be coming out of this mouth; it was going to be used for other things.
Maverick moves his arms from around my waist, gently cups my face with his hands and tips my head back some. He places his lips on mine, and it was as if time stood still. His kiss starts out oh so slowly, and as we find our rhythm, it begins to increase in pressure and intensity. My arms, having a mind of their own, begin to wrap around his neck and pull him even closer, although I'm not sure how that is even possible. I honestly didn’t think we could get any closer together than we already were. Maverick kisses me like I am everything, like I was his last dying breath. I have never been kissed like this before.
I finally draw away from him to catch my breath. “That was…”
Maverick looks me in the eyes. “Wow.”
For Charlie, a senior starting at a new high school, graduation cannot come soon enough. With a father who degrades and ridicules her on a daily basis, and a silent mother who watches from the wings, music is her only escape. Until she meets Maverick.
Maverick is the school football star, the good looking guy that every girl wants to date and every guy wants to be friends with. He runs into Charlie, literally, and is instantly taken with her.
Charlie and Maverick fall into an easy friendship, and it's not long before Maverick wants to be more than friends with Charlie. Unfortunately, her father's relentless emotional abuse has taken it's toll, and Charlie can't, won't, believe that a guy like Maverick could truly want to be with her. Will Maverick be able to get Charlie past her insecurities in order to take a chance on what could be an amazing love story, or will her defenses remain too strong for him to break through?
I really enjoyed reading Love Notes. It's always refreshing to have the main character not be a flawless twig, and it's even better when the male appreciates her and loves her for who she is. It's difficult for authors to write insecurities without making their character borderline annoying, but Ms. Gunter did a great job with Charlie's self-conciousness. Maverick was so understanding and patient with Charlie, which is exactly what she needs in a relationship. Maverick is definitely at the top of the YA book boyfriend list.
Tori is at the top of my list for book best friends. Every girl could use a friend like her, and she was a special addition to the story, a necessary one. Without her, Charlie may not have lasted until graduation.
This is not just a light hearted read. Charlies suffers a lot of emotional abuse from her father, and has been practically abandoned by her mother. She's been torn down for eight-teen years, and her self-esteem is as low as you can get. I wanted to jump into the book and just give her a big hug, tell her that she's beautiful, and take her out of that hateful home. Tori and Maverick do an amazing job to help Charlie realize her worth, but it's going to be a long road ahead of them.
I would definitely recommend this YA love story to anyone. Heather Hunter's debut novel definitely puts her on the map as a recommended YA author. The ending is somewhat open ended, paving the way for the second book in the series, but it does not end with a cliffhanger. My Kindle copy included a sneak peak at the second book, so you get a hint of where Maverick and Charlie are at in their relationship. Book 2, Heart Strings, is set to come out Winter 2013, and I can't wait.
About the Author
When not writing or updating her Into the Night Reviews book blog, you will find Heather curled on the couch reading, surrounded by her children and four dogs. Her cravings for music and books are insatiable. One of her favorite things to do is sing and used to have a dream of becoming a singer. The dream has since changed and is now to become a full time writer. She holds a strong anti-bullying conviction and voices it regularly. She resides in Canton, GA with her husband, 3 boys, 4 dogs, 1 cat and 2 ferrets.