Wednesday, 15 May 2013

This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath

About the book
This Beautiful Thing is a new adult novel by Amanda Heath. The book was independently published on 9th February and is 182 pages long. This Beautiful Thing is available in both e-book and paperback formats.

Plot Synopsis
Due to having two controlling and overprotective brothers, Teagan Harper has no experience with guys. The twins, Jaden and Caden make sure that she doesn’t have boyfriends and that guys pretty much stay away from her. At a college party though, Teagan ends up in the arms of a guy after an altercation with his ex-girlfriend. However, she doesn’t even know his name or that he is in fact Jaden’s best friend.

Declan Sage thinks that he has control over absolutely everyone. When his girlfriend of years dumps him, and he meets a mystery girl at a party, his life begins to become more and more out of control. The girl whose name he didn’t even bother to find out before kissing her, is ready to change her own life as well as Declan’s.

What I thought
A while back, I bought quite a random selection of new adult (NA) books on Amazon for my Kindle as they were pretty cheap. I didn’t really know what I was getting but there just isn’t enough NA out there to be picky. Like most of what I bought, I didn’t know the author and didn’t look at whether they were self-published. I didn’t really care.

This Beautiful Thing tells the story of Teagan, a girl with a controlling family who don’t really let her have too much of a wild life. She even goes to college really close to the family so she couldn’t even move states. It is clear from the get go that Teagan is quite the quiet teenager and doesn’t have a whole lot of life experience. Her roommate Grace drags her out to parties for a bit of excitement. At one party in particular, right at the beginning of the book, Teagan gets a bit drunk, breaks a girls nose and ends up in the room of some guy she doesn’t even know the name of. This does not sound at all like the girl described previously does it? Teagan was a character with quite the split personality. One minute she would be all quiet and nice and the next she was doing/ saying things she thinks were shocking unlike herself.

I found it hard to like Teagan too much because of the problems with her personality. The constant changes meant that I never really felt like I knew her properly as a character. The whole thing with the initial party threw me completely. Just when I thought I was getting a nice, sweet female protagonist, she punches someone in the nose and ends up topless with the unknown guy. For someone with no experience, she sure jumped into his bed quickly. I know this sounds a bit judgemental. I wouldn’t have minded her actions at all if she had been described as a character that did such things to begin with.

The plot really begins with the events of the party. After hooking up with the random guy, both he and she are desperate to find out who the other is. It turns out his name is Declan and Teagan’s brother’s best friend. Here lies the ‘problem’ aspect of the book. Teagan and Declan, after realising their attraction goes much further than a quick fumble around at a party, sneak around and begin to date. Teagan is the girl with the temper who gets mad at the smallest thing while Declan wants to be the cool and composed guy who wants something deep and meaningful. Declan was a lovely character compared with Teagan. He had a life goal which was nice to see; he was a caring person and took on a hell of a lot for a guy his age.

While I didn’t really understand Teagan as a character, I did sort of like her relationship with Declan, even though she annoyed the hell out of me sometimes. This Beautiful Thing shows how much meeting one person can change so much in your life and that relationships are never straight forward or simple. I liked the obstacles that were thrown in their way and the reactions to certain events. I do think some readers could really grow to hate Teagan for some reasons but I could completely understand where she was coming from during one big part of the book.

Although the plot centres on Teagan and Declan’s relationship for the most part but secondary characters also make a big difference in this book. Teagan’s large family and her best friend Grace were wonderful to read about. Each had different personalities and all brought something different and fresh to the book. Also, Heath took the time to add in smaller plots regarding certain characters and weaved these in to the main plot. For me, the secondary characters by far outshined the protagonists, which isn’t really the way it is supposed to be.  

Unfortunately, the plot is extremely relationship focused and there isn’t too much else there. There are plenty of steamy sex scenes but too much repetition and the use of my most hated pet name, ‘baby’. At one point, Teagan states that she likes Declan because he makes her feel special because he calls her baby. Surely not the strongest reason to like someone? Heath’s writing isn’t the best, honestly and the editing of the book could have done with a hell of a lot more attention. There are spelling and grammar mistakes galore which were very off putting whilst reading this book. I can easily overlook a tiny mistake but there were a lot, all the way through.

While I did like some aspects of this book, there was quite a lot wrong with it. I struggled to finish the book due to mistakes and the terrible dialogue at times. 

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