Title: Life Interrupted
Author: Kristen Kehoe
Release Date: January 2014
Length: 328 pages
Genre: Contemporary YA/NA Romance
Source: CBB Book Promotions
Rachel Reynolds is the daughter of a scientist and a poet, so her beliefs on Creation and Karma and all those other mythical things are varied. But when one passionate night with Tripp, the boy she’s loved her entire, life leads to heartache and a poorly chosen moment with another boy, whom she barely knows let alone loves, which then leads to a baby, she’s pretty sure Karma or no, the universe is a real biatch.
Now, Rachel is getting ready to graduate from high school, and while balancing college applications, mommyhood, and the greater question of where this is all leading her in the future, Rachel also makes the discovery that she isn’t over her first love…and he isn’t over her. But the timing, oh the timing. As Rachel tries to navigate through the possibilities of a relationship with Tripp, a nightmare from two years ago reappears in her life and threatens the already shaky balance she’s worked long and hard for, causing Rachel to wonder if one night from her past will forever control her future.
Her older sister is perfect. Her best friend is dating the perfect girl. Her mother teaches about sexuality. Her father was too inconvenienced to be a dad. Her best friend has major parent issues…as in, they’re never around. It’s her senior year. She has a baby…and a baby daddy that is insane. Hello, therapy!
But this is no MTV or Teen Mom story. It’s real and it’s raw on so many levels. Some of the characters are fucked up, and the dialogue and narration from Rachel are so perfect in this un-perfect world.
Rachel Reynolds is in love with her best friend, and it seems everyone knows it, too. Especially her best friend, Katie, whose parents have essentially abandoned her. She has serious daddy issues, but when it comes to the court she is serious and dedicated. Volleyball is her passion, as it is Rachel’s, and probably the only thing that keeps both of them stable and grounded in their ever-changing lives.
Rachel got pregnant as a sophomore in high school. She is now back at volleyball, but who wants to hand out a full ride scholarship to a girl with baggage and a baby?
But that’s just the surface of things. Let’s talk about the characters.
Life can be such an asshole. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out and you start feeling confident in who you are and how you’ve chosen to live, something comes around the corner and slaps you in the face, not only changing your viewpoint, but leaving one hell of a mark.
Rachel is the younger sister, a tall and lean Amazon but no fashionista. She has mixed Italian and Cherokee heritage (like me!) and only sees everything she’s done as being the fuck-up of her family. She’s a bit of a mess, though she tries to hold it together. Her sister would have never been in this position. She sees her school counselor once a week. She is in love with Tripp, whom she has known and been best friends with since grade school. There’s just one problem: Tripp rejected her two years ago. He’s with Lovely Lauren. They don’t talk about it. He acts like an ass, she punches him. But she would do anything for Tripp or her best girl friend Katie.
Oh, yeah, did I mention that I’m known as the resident slut in my town?
Katie is a hot mess on top of abandonment issues. Every three weeks, she has a new boy toy, and the current one seems like a total biker douche. Dougie. Dougie Fresh, or as his cousin Dick Dean likes to share, Douglass – Douglass as in two s’s, synonymous for Doug is an Ass. And Katie is trying to wrangle Rachel into going out with Dean. Katie seems like a bimbo at times, but she can lay it on thick when she needs to and is protective of those she loves.
Katie: You’re such a whore.
Rachel: False. I was a whore last year, I’m a teen-mom this year.
Dean is a freshman at the local college, and cousin to Doug, and smoking hot. SA-MOKIN HOTT! After their first botched date – which ends in disaster for Katie and Dougie – Dean and Rachel take things very slow…and then at a snail’s pace when Dean puts two and two together and realizes who Rachel is. He’s a sweet guy, the kind of guy that’s the boy-next-door, always-picked-last kind of guy…except smoking hot, according to Rachel. Oh, and did I mention that he plays rugby? 😉
Tripp is the youngest son of three, and they all hang out at their parents’ shop. Tripp’s parents are like a second set of parents to Rachel, and his mother Georgie Jones – NOT to be confused with George Jones! – adores Rachel. Tripp is that all-American blonde athlete that can do it all, but his passion lies with basketball. And his heart? It goes for a roller coaster ride, as does his blood pressure, in this novel. He made a mistake two years ago because he was scared, and now he’s facing the ramifications of it all, and he’s just got to deal and be there for Rachel, but he’s having a hard time of it.
Tripp Jones – athlete extraordinaire, high school heartthrob, and the only person to ever break my heart. The shit.
Stacy is Rachel’s older sister, the perfect one. The one who can’t get pregnant and is jealous and mad at her sixteen year old fuck-up sister, according to Rachel. They have a very close relationship, and even though almost every conversation turns out to be an emotional “me” one for Stacy, she is always there for Rachel and does everything she can for her and Gracie. In fact, she is the one who saved Rachel.
Rachel’s pregnancy was a shock – to everyone – but she decided to keep her baby. And afterwards it was extremely rough on Rachel. She suffered a lot of things: broken heart, broken dreams, lost identity. She was at a low point that she talks about several times in the book – at critical moments – and that is what makes this book different. This is where the real and raw I mentioned comes in. And Tripp and Stacy where there to get her out of it.
Rachel’s mom and both her grandmothers are strong supporting secondary characters, and even Tripp’s girlfriend Lauren plays a pivotal part in the book, and what she does actually shocked me. Stacy and Katie – even Dean – are also strong characters that further the plot and Rachel’s journey of self-discovery.
It’s the end of her senior year, and Rachel has faced so much in the last two years. Her future is not looking as limited as it seemed before.
I loved the way Rachel’s character, her history, and her personal reflections unfolded. The school guidance counselor, parents, grandparents, Stacy and Katie were all used in this book to help Rachel through her trials, to get over the hump, and sometimes to hold her hand through life. I enjoyed seeing how Rachel’s relationship with her guidance counselor changed throughout the book, when at first she was just a free ticket out of math once a week, and by the end Rachel was coming to her on her own and sharing BIG news with her before anyone else.
I don’t know if it’s awesome or pathetic that my grandmother has a hotter social life than I do.
Rachel’s sarcasm, and the dialogue throughout the book, was spot-on in creating her flawed character, and showing the flaws and the love in them all.
*****About the Author*****
Mom, Wife, Coffee Addict, and Book Lover
I am a writer of YA/NA contemporary novels. I write about those crazy ages of 18-23 because there is nothing scarier than being told to grow up and decide what to do with your life and who to be so suddenly. I write about love because it’s my belief that love, in one form or another, saves us all at some point in our lives. I am married to a man who understands and believes in me, and mother to a beautiful baby girl and a neurotic Great Dane Puppy.
There are TWO $25 Amazon Gift Cards up for grabs in this giveaway. Open internationally.
Keep up with the tour for Life Interrupted!
- Debra at 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!– Excerpt
- Three Boy Circus– Excerpt
- Pen in Her Hand – Review
- Little Whimsy Books– Review
- Sue’s Cover Reveals and Book Promotions – Review