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Lengths: Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt

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Nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad leaves her conservative Pennsylvania home for sunny California, looking for independence, a fresh start, and a place to stash her grief. She promptly finds a job at a tattoo parlor, a craptastic first apartment, and one friend—Ryan—who is a little less friend, a little more benefits. 

Deo Beckett is a soulful surfer with a passion for tattoos and beautiful women. On the eve of his twenty-second birthday, he finds himself living with his grandfather, recently unemployed, and seriously adrift. He doesn’t know much about what he wants out of life, but he does know his current situation isn't cutting it. 

When Deo meets Whit, she’s all sexy makeup and fierce, smart-ass fun. It doesn’t take him long to see past her tough shell. And when he gets a good look at what's under all the superficial stuff that usually gets his attention, it leaves Deo wondering if there might be more to life than living fast and free. 
Too bad Whit has a past she doesn't plan on sharing—no matter how hot Deo is. She might want him, but she knows better than to let her guard down.
 

Deo falls for Whit, and falls hard. But everything about her, down to that mysterious tattoo and the way she thrashes in her sleep, tells him that the girl he loves is hiding something. And the more he pushes for answers, the more Whit pulls away. 



Having your guard up is one thing, but are the lengths Whit goes to to protect her secret worth throwing away the second chance she has at happiness with Deo? 
I was drawn right into this book. The writing is engaging, snarky, sarcastic, funny, and just downright enjoyable. 

Deo: I adored him. He is a surfer boy who lacked direction. He has Daddy abandonment issues, a Mom who is a hippie with few boundaries, and a cranky Grandpa he looks up to. But once he meets Whit, he knows what he wants. He is just not sure how to make her want it too. 


Whit: She is just a plain mess. She has run away from her previous life, has major control issues, and is afraid to open up. She does not want to share her tragic past, her guilt, or her heart with anyone. She uses sex as an escape but does not want any emotional commitments. She is running from her past and from herself...and from any type of relationship.


But they immediately react strongly to each other. And it begins a story of friends and lovers, pushing and pulling, hiding and running, fighting and getting back together and fighting again. I liked that this book is told in a more real timeline though. They might be together for weeks and then apart for weeks after a misunderstanding. So it was not like all of this emotional turmoil was happening in a condensed time frame. 


I really liked them together, but for most of the book it was tense since Deo never knew when Whit was going to freak out on him and push him away. My heart broke for both of them at times. I admired Deo for trying so hard and not giving up entirely. Slowly we see Whit's layers being peeled away and her guard being let down. But she was immature, selfish, and held on so tight to any control she could that it was hard to like her at times. 


I'm scared as hell to push anything further. I want to help her work through all her shit, but she won't let me touch it. And as unsatisfying as it is to be so close to her but closed off, I'm glad for what I've got and won't run the risk of losing it entirely.

"There's no limits to the lengths I'd go to make you happy, doll."

I liked seeing the growth in her as the story went on and seeing what an effect she in turn had on Deo's life. Whit gave Deo and anchor and she did the same for him. It just took them awhile to figure that out.
 

"Yes, I'm going to sink into what I feel for you. I'm going to sink into the good times and the scary shit. I'm going to sink with you, because I'm tired of drifting and treading, never committing to anything, I want to sink with you."


It was a really engaging read. I enjoyed the writing style of Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt. It is definitely a new adult novel with lots of cursing from all the characters (even including Grandpa), adult situations, and sex scenes. It felt realistic and was at times maddening, sad, sweet, tense, steamy, frustrating, and happy. It takes you through the whole gamut of emotions and you realize that you are invested in this couple and hope they can make it through all the trials and tribulations. 

Deo's mother the holistic hippie and her tattoo store owner boyfriend were both funny and supportive. His Grandpa was crotchety, outspoken, and really gave good advice. I enjoyed his honest relationship with best friend Cohen who will be the subject of the next book DEPTHS coming March 12, 2013.

Deo to Cohen: "Couldn't have done it without you. You may be my lamer, less handsome, stupider side-kick, but you're the wind beneath my damn wings."



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