Friday, 25 October 2013

Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

Title: Stir Me Up
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Release date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 245
Source: NetGalley

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated…

Stir Me Up is a totally delectable debut from Sabrina Elkins! It's not just about the romance - there's so much individual character growth and maturity. It's a quick, light read, and I loved that. It's the kind of feel-good book that you can re-read several times over and not get bored.

Cami's father is the owner of a French restaurant, and he's an amazing chef. Cami aspires to be like him, so naturally she loves cooking. All she wants is to work at her father's restaurant as a chef, but her dad wants her to go to college - and she'd be the first generation on his side of the family to do that. She's juggling her shifts at the restaurant with senior year of high school as well as her boyfriend, Luke, when events take a sudden but interesting turn. Her step-mom's nephew, Julian, is recovering from injuries sustained from an explosion in Afghanistan, and he's living at their house until he's better. Cami goes out of her way to make him feel comfortable, but soon realizes that he's a total jerk. But as they get to know one another, she starts to see who he really is, and things start getting a bit crazy in her life.

Even though I'm not a foodie and I actually despise cooking, I really enjoyed this book. Cami's enthusiasm about the cuisine is contagious, and since I do learn French, I found it pretty interesting. But this is one of those books where I feel a dual POV would have been really cool. I'd love to know what was going on in Julian's head. Though I guess I liked his initial enigmatic attitude in the book too.

I really loved Cami - she's a total sweetheart! I honestly think it's impossible not to like her. Her interaction with Julian really amused me, and that's what keeps the story so interesting. They start off pretty antagonistic towards each other (Cami even throws a muffin at him at one point) but they slowly grow closer, and that was beautiful to watch.

Julian's a complete asshole in the beginning, and I didn't start liking him until after 20% in. I did feel sorry for him, of course, but his injuries didn't warrant his cold attitude towards his aunt and Cami. Julian's really complex, and therefore hard to understand, but I found myself warming towards him as the novel progressed. He's been through so much as a Marine in Afghanistan, and the memories of the explosion still bother him at night. I love that Cami helps him get through it, and that she's not even a bit repulsed by his stump or anything. 

I think it would be really cool if Sabrina wrote a companion novel following Cami's best friend, Taryn, because she was totally awesome. I'd love to have a best friend like her! She's energetic, bubbly, and really understanding, too. I definitely did not like Luke, Cami's boyfriend at the beginning of the book, for obvious reasons. You'll get me when you read the book! All I have to say is, thank goodness Cami finally breaks up with him.

All in all, this is such a fun YA contemporary to read in one go! The characters are so genuine, and I could really relate to Cami since I'll soon be in a similar position as her. I think she made some great choices in the novel, which is kind of the opposite for most YA female protagonists! She's sensible, and she's got her head on straight. She and Julian are so good for each other. Bottom line, you HAVE to read this one if you're a contemporary lover.

*Thank you to Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. I'm having such a hard time finishing this one. I'm glad you enjoyed it immensely.


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