Review Tour and Giveaway: Recovered: Jay Crownover

by - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jay Crownover
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Release Date March 27, 2018

It was hate at first sight...


I hated Cable James McCaffrey.

He was entitled, spoiled, a user…and an addict.

He was out of control and didn’t bother trying to hide it.

He had everything anyone could want but still seemed miserable and lost.

Every move he made, every mistake he stumbled his way through, rubbed me the wrong way. However, I couldn’t stop myself from trying to save him from himself when no one else would. In the sweltering heat of the summer, Cable taught me that having it all means nothing if you can’t have the one thing you want more than anything else.


I was obsessed with Affton Reed.

She was rigid, uptight, and no fun. There was something about her innate goodness that called to me.

She acted like she was above all the normal faults and failures that clung to the rest of us like the scent of smoke after a fire.

I was infatuated with her, but that didn’t stop me from acting like she didn’t exist.

In the scorching heat of summer, Affton taught me that there is always a way back from the brink of despair. She showed me that the trick to having it all was realizing that it was already there, in my hands. All I had to do was hold onto it.

The road to recovery is full of twists and turns no matter who is in the driver’s seat. 

In high school, Cable McCaffrey was a privileged, popular, short-tempered, rude, manwhore struggling with addiction and no one noticed but Affton Reed. He ruled the  high school and got away with anything he wanted due to his parent's wealth and social status. But Affton had a history with watching someone wither away from drug abuse, so she tried to help. She was the quiet, guarded, good girl that did not get close to people. Her actions succeeded in alerting others to the problem, but also had worse consequences.

Two years later when Affton is ready to enjoy her last summer before college, she is convinced to be Cable's sober companion for the summer. She does not want to to be there and is not going to take it easy on him. She is pushy, demanding, sarcastic, and determined to keep him from destroying himself.

They hate, they push, they avoid, they want. They are both intense people and their connection is hard to ignore.   They know it is a bad idea, but they get under each other's skin and start to care. He is her worst nightmare and she could be his salvation. They resided somewhere in the gray area between friends and enemies for quite a while. These two were just an accident waiting to happen and I was not sure how things would end up.

I typically do not like books about out of control addicts. And alpha-holes are hit or miss. But Jay Crownover managed to bring these complex, flawed characters to life. She was able to make me feel his chaos, confusion, hopelessness, and vulnerability. He truly needed an anchor and someone to really see him and care. But his insecurities, pain, secrets, and demons keep him in a constant state of being overwhelmed and floundering. She is the only one who will stand up to him, push him, and hold him accountable. But their relationship is riding the border of unhealthy and all consuming.  He knows she is too good for him. But he is so lost, broken and hates himself so much that it feels good to have some light around him and maybe a little hope. She makes him feel. He makes her live. But they are on borrowed time.

Distractions, diversions, destinations. Life is a series of choices...good ones, bad ones, questionable ones. There is a thin line between love and hate, but both are strong emotions. Can Cable learn to love himself or someone else enough to make more good choices than bad ones?

This is the story of two people broken in their own ways. Both are emotionally closed off and dealing with
 loss, guilt, sadness, and isolation. But they deal has little hope or purpose and one has a future all planned out. But somehow, some way their broken parts pull towards each other and fit. It is a story of hopelessness turning to hope, hate to love, fear to determination, and enemies to  lovers. But it is mostly Cable's journey of finding purpose, self worth, and fighting his demons. It is raw, frustrating, intense, and definitely not always pretty...but it is real, current, and powerful. And even though this is not my favorite subject matter, I got hooked just the same. And the fact that it was based somewhat on personal experience made it have even more impact.

I was gifted a copy.
Affton Reed was focused on one goal during high school: get out of town. She has little time for anyone else, and really only has one close friend. She was closed off and cold towards anything that didn’t fit her view of what she needed to meet her goals.

Cable James McCafferty was the town’s golden boy. He could do no wrong, despite his efforts to do just that. He was spiraling out of control, but no one tried to stop it, no one even saw.

They knew each other from afar in high school. Until Affton saw Cable was unraveling to the point she felt she couldn’t stay silent any longer.

They hated each other, but were thrown together for the summer. Affton needed the money, and he needed to stay clean. I was pulled into their hate. Pulled by the pull between them. Even though they had agreed to spend the summer in each others’ company, they both thought they could get through it harboring the hatred that each held. Him because she was so uptight and cold. Her because he was so reckless despite his privilege.

There is a lot of intensity within these pages. Both characters feel strongly about their own experiences and outlooks. All that intensity collides as they each share their vulnerability, leading to a temporary truce. But can that intensity last beyond the summer, especially if they are determined to remain on their initial course?

This was initially released in Jay’s newsletter chapter by chapter. I refrained from reading it then and only read the book in its entirety. I am so glad I waited, because having all this intense emotion would have torn me apart if I had to read it a chapter at a time. As it was, there were aspects that absolutely gutted me reading, and the only saving grace was I could continue to progress in the story. Jay is a master at writing flawed, broken characters. She shared that these two characters are particularly personal to her and it shows in the writing. Their story is one of hopelessness and hope, healing and pain. Though she has written flawed characters before, the personal connection to these particular characters shines in every word.

I was gifted a copy.

“Really, what are your plans for the entire summer, Cable? You can’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself day in and day out.”

Well, he could, and he seemed perfectly content to do exactly that, but if I had to watch him wallow in self-pity all day, every day, I was going to lose my mind. Actions had consequences, and clearly it was the first time in his life that Cable had to face those nasty little fuckers head-on.

He looked at me out of the corner of his eye from where he was folded into my passenger seat, an unlit cigarette dangling from his lips. I refused to let him smoke in my car, and I stuck to my guns even though the car was a thousand years old and already had a distinct smell of its own. His hair was still wet, and his attitude was piss poor and prickly. Being trapped in a small space with him was unnerving, and I was disturbed by the way the space between us seemed charged and electric. If I moved in any direction, I worried there was a risk of getting shocked. I didn’t want to have any kind of reaction to this sullen, spoiled boy. I wanted to be immune. Numb. Frozen.

He plucked the cigarette out of his mouth and put it behind his ear. His wide shoulders lifted and dropped in a bored shrug. “You’re here to ensure I can’t do all the things I normally do, so I guess I’ll have to find other ways to entertain myself.”

The suggestive drop in his tone made me blush as I cast a narrow-eyed look in his direction. It bugged me that every time he insinuated something sexual, I couldn’t control the way my blood heated and my heart rate sped. I tried to convince myself it was from embarrassment and awkwardness, but I’d never been a very good liar. 

Jay Crownover

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

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