All That Matters by Michelle Congdon
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
***Recommended for ages 18+ due to mature situations, sensitive issues, alcohol and drug use, and language***
She is a teen sensation and also the infamous daughter of a renowned rock star and a Hollywood starlet.
Eighteen-year-old Harper Hudson is spoiled, wild and troubled. Still dealing with the loss of her twin sister and surviving a horrifying event that she has kept secret, Harper relies on constant partying, alcohol and drugs to help her forget.
He is her cousin and a straight ‘A’ student trying to juggle football and a medical degree.
Adopted as a baby, there isn’t anything twenty-one year old Jackson Hayward wouldn’t do for the people who raised him. But the last thing on his mind is to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor. And Jackson has a secret of his own. He isn’t the perfect son his family are led to believe.
A forbidden romance they never saw coming.
Sent away to live with her Aunty and Uncle in Australia, as punishment for her latest stunt, the last thing Harper wants is to be babysat by her over-achieving, do-gooder cousin, Jackson. He is moody and overbearing, but there’s something about him that Harper can’t seem to ignore.
Jackson didn’t mean to fall for the rebellious wild child. But seeing small glimpses of her true personality shine through made it impossible not too. He knows the secret she keeps is the reason behind her destructive behavior and he is willing to risk whatever it takes to try to help her. But can something so broken ever be truly fixed? And can someone with painful secrets of his own save her without getting caught up along the way?
I'm honestly not sure what to say about this book. There were some good things and some things that could have been better.
This is definitely a book about demons people face. It does have a romance and while it's between cousins, they're not biological cousins and they weren't raised together. But both Harper and Jackson had their own demons.
The book starts out with Harper's life totally out of control. While I was reading, I actually thought of Lindsay Lohan with Harper's antics. But it was obvious that Harper's actions were her way of dealing with something that had happened in the past (or not dealing as the case my be). Fast forward to her exile to Australia and her aunt & uncle's home and you meet our hero, Jackson. He was also dealing with issues.
I thought that Harper and Jackson's issues were portrayed in a realistic way. And they're relationship didn't bother me. The issue I had was after it was revealed to Harper's parents the seriousness of her issues and the cause behind them, everything happened too fast and all in the background. And the same goes for Jackson. For a book that had great dual POVs, at the end, it was strictly Harper and Jackson just informed her of his progress with his issues.
And I think that was my biggest issue. The end was a definite end, but it was too neat and pretty. There was no real indication of what would happen in their lives, just they were happy at that moment and it ended. Also, I would have liked to see a little more of a progression of Harper & Jackson's improvement. And I would have loved to see the transformation of Harper's family. Because her mom and oldest brother and sister were awful. I hated them. And at the end, they had personality transplants and I never saw the change. I was starting to think they were pod people.
But even with the issues, this was a good read. I was hooked and couldn't put it down. I'd definitely read more from the author in the future.
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