on April 14th, 2014
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl.
So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it.
But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died.
Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself.
From reading the synopsis I was reminded of the movie Stick It, which I love, mixed with a lot of high school drama. But Ex-Factor is more than that. Elisa Dane is able to convey angst, pain and suffering, heartbreak, and passion in such a way that you really feel for what the main characters have gone through. She also writes Young Adult very well, understanding the pressures, cliques, fights, and drama that still (unfortunately) occurs in high schools today.
Having suffered an enormous loss and with nowhere else to go, Nevaeh “Nev” moves in with her aunt and cousin and attends an elite-upper class high school. There she meets bad boy Bodie, who immediately takes a dislike to Nev or so she thinks. In reality Bodie thinks that she is everything he has come to hate about his school and finds it easy to push her away. That is until something happens that turns the tables and he is able to see her for who she really is. It turns out that the two of them have way more in common than they expected and they are able to form a close friendship and bond.
“I want to kiss you so bad, Doll Face. Tell me you want me to. Tell me it’s okay.”
I enjoyed Nev’s snarky, sarcastic personality and sense of humor. She is a strong female lead character, having gone through so much and really stepping up to support her friends and family. At first glance I thought Bodie was a jerk and the typical brooding bad boy. However, there are reasons behind Bodie’s anger and attitude. He carries around a lot of guilt and it definitely affects the way he treats others and is able to let people in. But there is so much more to Bodie; he is protective, caring, sweet, and loving.
“Don’t you know, Bodie? I’m yours- since the first day of school when you scowled at me. It’s only ever been about your for me.”
One thing that bothered me was how rude Bodie was to her at first and then how quick a turnaround he did. If I was Nev I would have wanted more of an explanation as to exactly why he treated her that way, then the one he gave. Another thing that I felt was needed was an epilogue (yes, I am a HUGE sucker for an epilogue). We do get a glimpse into their lives in a bit of the future, but I felt like there were still some unanswered questions when the book ended. Perhaps these things will be addressed in the second book of the series Unbreakable (Diamond Girls #2).
Overall I enjoyed Elisa’s debut novel and look forward to reading more from her. Also, it must be noted that she did an AMAZING job of bringing awareness to the dangers of drunk driving.