Title: More Than This
Author: Jay McLean
Publication: July 21, 2014
Publisher: Amazon PUblishing
Genre Category: Teen/YA, Romance
When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.
Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.
I won’t lie. About a quarter of the way through this book I was struggling to keep reading and was fully set on giving it a 1 or a 2 rating. The good news is, it did earn it’s way to a higher rating along the way. Having never read any work by Jay McLean, I was clueless what to expect from this book. Having finished it now, there were parts I loved, and parts I could have gladly gone without.
Let me start by telling you this story follows Mikayla, an 18 year old girl who looses virtually everything the night of her senior prom. She has to find a way to recover from her life tragedy and figure out who she is, all while becoming intertwined in the life of a boy she just met, but can’t seem to stay away from.
Teenage years are hard as it is and this story throws in so much hurt and tragedy that it is hard to believe someone could survive it. Good news is, she does. Trust me, that is not a spoiler, it’s just life. You survive things you don’t think you can. I loved Mikayla’s character, a witty, sarcastic, and yet almost shy girl who is coping with a whole new life. Jake, the lead male character is one who you wished you knew. His friends, Logan, Lucy, Cam, Heidi, and Dylan, are all people you wish to be friends with. So to say the author, Jay McLean, nailed the ability to have her readers relate to characters is an understatement.
The two areas I was disappointed with in this book is the unexpected onslaught of sexual scenes. When you read the synopsis of this book, you don’t suspect to have almost a soft core porn thrown at you. ‘More Than This’ borders on the edge of a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ area. Being labeled as YA & Teen fiction on Amazon and other sites, this is not something I would want my teenage child reading, even if they are having thoughts of sexual nature in real life. I don’t want to put graphic and quite descriptive sex scenes in their heads. So if you aren’t into reading about things of this nature, I would not advise this book for you. It gets more and more as the book continues on. The other area that upset me is the over-dramatics of certain situations that take place (without giving too much away). I understand that Mikayla has gone through a lot, but her reaction to some situations is over dramatic and annoying at times. Teenagers can be dramatic, but this was a new level.
Even with all those, ‘More Than This’ jumped itself up to a three star rating because of the reality of friendships and how they grow and fall apart, the characters themselves, and the hilarious one-liners throughout the book. While I grew annoyed at times with the writing, the plot line was fantastic and left me wanting to know more. I had to know what happened next. Four stars for the idea of the book, but two for the execution and unneeded sexuality. Averaging out to a solid 3 stars.