Making Bad Choices by Rita Stradling
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
[Recommended 16 + this is a mature YA or New Adult book]
Watch the Book Trailer: Here
Culter Fuller came back into my life on the day my mother died, as if losing my mother wasn’t bad enough.
We hated each other since childhood. Well, I hated him. He had a very different story.
When I moved to my dad’s house to finish my last semester of high school, we went from bitter enemies to. . . something else. He was suddenly everywhere, occupying my space, determined to pull me into his life, filling me with thoughts I knew were wrong.
I knew that soon we would cross a line that should never be crossed.
I knew crossing that line could have very serious consequences; because Culter Fuller wasn’t just any irresistible boy, Culter Fuller was my stepbrother.
But, I was always very bad at making the right choices.
This is the story of Cassie. A girl whose family tree is a bit complicated. Oh, scratched that. Not a bit complicated but really complicated. At a young age, her usual hang out is the hospital to care for her mother who has cancer. When her mother died, she had to move from Los Angeles to Bulvin, Colorado to live with her Dad. In Bulvin, she will be living with her Dad's new wife Jen, her step-brother Josh and the other step-brother Culter--Jen's son from another man. Cassie used to have a crush on Culter but he broke her heart.
Making Bad Choices. What kind of bad choices? Intriguing right? Exactly why I signed up to review this one. I was drawn in by the intriguing title. And the story didn't disappoint. It was full of scandals and dirty secrets. Like a can of worms just waiting to be opened. More like cans of worms.
Cassie thought that developing feelings for her step-brother was complicated enough, little did she know that her life in Bulvin is getting more complicated as she gets to know the people. The next days of her life are like accidents waiting to happen. Having to deal with the death of her mother is difficult enough, fitting into a new school and meeting new friends is also tricky. Will she survive the cold weather in Colorado and the snowstorm that is waiting to blow her life away?
This story spells complicated in capitals. I felt sorry for Cassie having to go through all these difficulties in her life and family. She thought her mom dying of cancer was the worst she had to deal with but she still have a lot learn. Her heart not only got cut into pieces but it also got pounded to pulp. But out of all the shocking revelations, she found strength and happiness in Culter and in some of the new friends she met. For the first time in a long time, she feels happy. Like she is able to breathe after holding her breath for like forever. After a long time, she feels alive.
This book attempts to explore the relationships in combined families. The story poses a very delicate and difficult question. Is it still taboo to have feelings for your step-sibling even though you are not in anyway related? Like in this story, even if Culter's mom and Cassie's dad are married, when you really look at it, Cassie and Culter are not really related. They are both products of their parent's previous relationships. They may share a common sibling--in this story, Josh, but still, that does not make them any more related. For me, I think Cassie and Culter's feelings for each other is not wrong. Love is never wrong. Besides, the two grew up in different households. They never grew up in the same house together. Their situation may be strange but not as unusual as a guy marrying his dead wife's sister. Sister wives, right? I think the situation gets fickle when and if these two grew up in the same house. Definitely, them developing feelings for each other would be awkward and would really be an issue that would be quite delicate to navigate. I will let their parents worry about it. I wouldn't even attempt to decipher the complexity of the implications.
I give the book 4/5 sticky notes. The Cassie and Culter's situation is definitely not the usual teenage love story we hear. I think Cassie deserves to be happy after all the heartbreak, loss and shit days she had been through. She deserves to feel like a teenager even for just a moment. She deserves to make mistakes, make bad choices and learn from them. Although, from this story, she choose to be happy. I think choosing to be happy, as long as you are not hurting anyone is always a good choice.
The thing about shit days--I mean, the worst days of your life--is that they end.
...as I said, shit days always end, for better or for worse.
- Rita Stradling, Making Bad Choices -