Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Series: Picturing Perfect #2
Format: ARC provided by author for review
Joey made her dad a deathbed promise that she would become a doctor, and dedicate herself to fighting the very cancer that took his life. There’s just one problem -three years into her pre-med classes, she's struggling to stay on top of the curve, let alone prove she's dazzling enough to earn a spot in an Ivy League medical school. In a Hail Mary move, she throws a basic Business 101 class into her semester schedule, banking on a perfect score to boost her GPA. That is, until she’s paired for a final project with Hawk, the bartending, motorbike-riding, gorgeously bedheaded loser who falls asleep in class and communicates in one-word sentences. Hawk does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which sets Joey on edge – in every possible way. As they get to know each other, her urge to scream at him is curbed only by her fantasies of tearing his clothes off. Soon those fantasies become reality, and Joey realizes Hawk makes her feel more fully herself than any of the rich boys her mother and sorority sisters approve of. But the promise to her father hangs over her head, and the harder Joey tries to succeed in her chosen career, the faster everything falls into a hopeless tailspin of bad grades, broken promises and guilt. It doesn't help to have Hawk sitting like a devil on her shoulder, insisting she should be free to live however she wants to live - like he does. The only thing Joey knows is that her neatly organized life is crushing her - and Hawk's bad attitude might be the only thing that can save her.
Alessandra Thomas not only caught my attention with her very first book Picture Perfect, she also stole my heart. The story of a once thin model who gained a significant amount of weight after an accident that changed her whole life around. I thought that one was my favorite and nothing could touch it in my heart but Subject To Change got me on a deeper level and has not stopped being on my mind for the last two weeks since I finished it.
Joey was my favorite secondary character in Picture Perfect because she was Cat's best friend. She never once turned her back on Cat when she gained all her weight and stood by her friend no matter what. That was only the tip of the iceberg of why I adore Joey because in Subject To Change we get to see so much to her than just being a best friend. After promising her dying father she would become a Doctor just like him specializing in Cancer, Joey does her level best to get through all the grueling classes and demanding homework. She is focused and determined to fulfill her father's wishes but she is also miserable. Not admitting it to herself she trudges on day to day barely getting by with passing grades. There were so many layers to Joey's character and seeing what she has dealt with in losing her father and the pressure she was under from her mother to make her fathers dream a reality was hard on Joey. Before her father passed he set up a college trust fund for her so all she would have to worry about is just her schooling and residency. I felt bad watching her struggle to even understand the medical terminology much less the science of it. Even with her studying non stop she was barely making passing grades and her disappointment with herself over it was heartbreaking. When she is paired up with another student in a class she is forced to take she is introduced to William Hawkins or Hawk.
OH Hawk how do I love thee! When Hawk first appears he is extremely late for class and immediately falls asleep only pissing Joey off. His lackluster attitude about their joint assignment gets under her skin because she hates not making good grades and she just knows he's gonna be trouble. And boy was he! Even though he is perceived to be a floundering loser stinking like cigarette smoke I couldn't help but fall for him on the spot. There was just something about him. He was aloof and a little mysterious and exactly what Joey needed. As you read more into the story you find out he has a big heart the way he volunteers and donates food to the Rowland House that shelters parents whose kids are sick with Cancer. I didn't think anyone could knock Nate off his pedestal but Hawk was just so amazing and deep. He didn't take school too seriously because he was dealing with so much in his personal life that Joey didn't know until she stopped judging him long enough to get to know him. After his little sister survived Leukemia at a young age he lost both his parents in separate tragic incidences leaving Hawk to care for her by himself. When she got wild and out of control he sent her to live with their aunt while he went to school and kept his father's bar afloat that he inherited. I think the reason why I loved Hawk so much is because even though he had every reason to give up and just focus on himself, he didn't. He kept working and trying to help his sister deal with her grief over their parents and he even became beacon of hope for Joey the more they got to know each other. They shared a common bond in the form of Cancer that served as an anchor to their budding relationship. He brought out a beautiful freedom in her that brought tears to my eyes at one point and she pushed him to want to do more than just get by in life. He was just simply a fantastic character. He was deep, emotional, sexy, passionate and caring. It was such a beautiful thing to watch these two bring out the best and worst in each other but ultimately help each other deal with their issues.
Cat and Nate make an appearance in this one and even though Joey and Hawk took over as my favorite couple, it was still nice to see them again. I always love getting a glimpse of what my favorite couples are up to and it was so nice to see that Cat was healthy and happy with Nate and getting to see her happy and living her dream was a nice little bonus. The other secondary character in this story that I loved and wouldn't mind seeing more of is Hawk's sister Olivia. In just the short time we get to see her she exudes the same mystery as her brother making me want to know more about what is in store for her. It was so funny to see her give Hawk so much grief but seeing her warm up to Joey was very sweet and endearing to the story.
I think the best part of the book was watching as Joey discovered exactly what she was meant to do with her life. She had a wonderful spirit and light about her that radiated to the patients she dealt with while she was interning and brightened their day. She gets a hard lesson from the doctor she's shadowing about detaching yourself from the patients in order to keep your emotions in check but that doesn't sit well with Joey. When she discovers what she wants to do and gets an epiphany from her father beyond the grave I literally wanted to fall to the floor and sob. It was so heartfelt and emotional witnessing her finally be able to live her dream for just herself and no one else. The relationship between her and Hawk was one of the most romantic, sweet, passionate and beautiful romances that touched every emotion I am capable of feeling. They were real and never once felt like characters in a book to me. I loved watching them fall for each other and build a solid foundation of friendship and trust and even though they had some issues to work out you never doubted they wouldn't end up together. I was incredibly pleased with how the story turned out and I am still swooning over this amazing addition to the series. This book was everything I wanted and so much more than I thought I would get. There is so much more I can say but I am still caught up in the euphoria of this wonderful book that I feel like I just babbled relentlessly. If you like deep, heartfelt, emotional and sexy reads with a hot guy who doesn't quite have his shit together but has a heart of gold then Subject To Change should be your next read!
I didn’t know much about Hawk, but I knew enough. Most importantly in this moment, I knew my body had never, ever wanted something as badly as it wanted to be pressed naked against his right this minute. I needed to drink in the feel of his skin, grind against the hard ridge under his jeans that I’d felt seconds ago and now could see — plain as day — even in the dim evening light. ARC 36%
I didn’t know what I would do about pre-med or the trust fund or the guilt my mom would surely lay on me or finding new shadowing possibilities. But I did know one thing: Staring something that absolutely was not right for me in the face and making a decision not to do it anymore felt so powerful, so right, that it made me want to do the same thing with every other aspect of my life. ARC 73%
About The Author:
Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she's not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she's not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.