738 Days // The Drama May Have Gone A Bit OTT At The End But Looking Back I Loved The Book

24 May 2017

 738 Days
738 Days – Stacey Kade
Published: 7th June 2016
Source: Bought
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
My Rating:
At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?
I have been wanting to read 738 Days ever since I first heard about it when I saw Ashley’s review on Nose Graze and when I saw Ksenia review it earlier this year I just knew I needed to read it too. I treated myself to a copy and although I’m not a huge fan of celebrities in books (I find it hard to find them believable and they definitely aren’t relatable) but I decided to give this one a shot as I was interested to see how Amanda’s struggle to recover from her captivity would happen. Would it be handled well and what struggles would she face that you wouldn’t expect?

I actually really enjoyed this book. I did end up dropping half a star as it did get crazy dramatic there at the end but I enjoyed myself reading. I mean, I read it so quickly I didn’t want to put this book down. Addictive reading is a sign of an enjoyable read and honestly, sometimes all I want is a bit of a light entertainment, not a book which blows away all expectations. This is definitely the first one.

So what worked about this book? Mainly the characters. I mean, I was concerned that this would delve into a whole world of angst as Amanda is suffering from PTSD after her kidnapping. I mean, I wanted her struggle to overcome experience to be genuine and so a certain level of angst was inevitable but I didn’t want it to feel wallow-y. I wanted it to feel like Amanda accepted her fight and although she had bad days she was trying to get herself to a level of normal she could be happy with. Anyway, my point was it wasn’t as angsty as some might have made instead Amanda was this amazingly fragile character who had amazing strength, it just took her time to recognise it. And Chase could easily have been a vapid celebrity in it only for his benefit, and he was some of those things, but he was also this really great guy who realised when he made mistakes and did try to do better. I can respect that.

There was plenty of character growth happening as well. With our MCs but also with secondary characters as well. I loved Amanda’s sisters in this they were so utterly charming in their own ways, especially with how they were with her. They were her sisters so sometimes they acted like dicks and I loved it. I really enjoyed seeing Amanda come in herself more and learning to recognise her own strength. She went through a terrible ordeal, she can’t deny that, but she learns to not let it completely define her. It changed who she is but it doesn’t mean she always has to be that girl. And Chase learns a lot about forgiving himself and his own actions.

The thing is, the romance kind of takes over at times and you forget at all these great developments happening to the characters because it is a crazy sauce romance. I loved that when I was reading, I love crazy over the top happenings, I can’t help it, but I think that is what sticks in your mind immediately after reading.

I won't go into all the ways it went wrong. Like I said it could have toned the drama down and I could see one plot point right from the start which was going to come back and bite Chase in the arse but despite those flaws, it was a good book. I was concerned Amanda's recovery was going to be all down to the love of a good man which would be awful and a slap in the face of any survivor of violence and sexual violence so I’m glad that didn't happen. Instead, the arrival of Chase in her life was a trigger for Amanda to try something different. I think it was the whole having an outsider there instead of a family which did it. Sure, the romance plays a big role in this but thank God Chase didn't solve all her problems otherwise I would have had to stop reading.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Good level of character development and story or did the romance take over?

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