Published on: January 13th 2014
Published by: Self Published
Series: Risk the Fall #4
Genre: YA Romance
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(summary from Goodreads)
They both have secrets…But whose past will catch up to them first?
Shayna Gillan is on a mission: start fresh in a new state without the small town gossip that has haunted her since her bad girl days of high school.
Carter MacPherson has long been the most together member of his crazy family—until now. With a secret threatening to crumble everything he’s worked for, he wishes he could forget the recent past, too.
The last thing Shayna and Carter are looking for is a relationship. It’s best to be alone while they sort out their issues.
Friends. That’s all they can ever be.
But even the best laid plans always have a flaw, and once Shayna and Carter cross the line between friendship and more, there’s no turning back…
The only question left is—whose past will catch up to them first?
I was unaware when I started reading this book that it was part of a series (although a standalone). Had I known, I would have definitely have read the previous book first, and maybe it would have helped me to connected with the characters a bit better.
Shayna is the daughter of a priest, and feeling like she doesn’t fit into her family, decides to rebel. One night after being rejected by Carter (all be it very politely) she turns up at home drunk and ruins her parents church gathering. It is at this point she decides to become a better daughter, but when this doesn’t work she runs away from her parents and life instead.
I found it hard to connect with Shayna mostly because I didn’t agree with a lot of her decisions. She rebels because she’s not happy, so they attempts to become the perfect daughter which makes her more unhappy, and so then just runs away. It all just seems a bit immature.
Carter is a mystery, with his own pack of secrets to add to the mix. He rejects Shayna even though it is VERY obvious that he likes her. Then when she turns up at his door he is very happy to see her and invites her to stay, but still hesitates. I really was hoping through this book that it wasn’t going to be some stupid pathetic reason, and it wasn’t. Carter’s secret lets us get to know him better and also give him a pretty good story of his own.
Although they had history (kind of), the romance did feel kind of insta-love. They were a cute couple, when not arguing about stupid and annoying things, but at times they felt “too old”, which then became “too young” when one of them (mainly Shayna) decided to throw a pathetic tantrum! I found it hard to connect to them as a couple and I’m not sure if it was due to the insta-love or the speed of the book. It felt short and I finished feeling like I hadn’t got my full fill yet.
It is an interesting read with characters I have never come across before. It was good enough to keep me reading, however I don’t feel like it totally reached the emotional depth it could have done . I would class it as an easy breezy book, fun to read, but not going to change your life any time soon.
Re-Readability: Probably not
I would recommend this book to fans of: new adult, NA romance, young people rebelling
1) Where did the idea/inspiration for Friend is a Four Letter Word come from?
When I originally wrote Grounding Quinn, I wrote the side character, Shayna so that Quinn would feel a little less alone. She would have found her kindred spirit in the most unlikely person—one of her enemies. Shayna was a bit of a bad girl in high school, but I knew that she had more in her than that.
Carter, Quinn’s brother was raised in the same crazy household as Quinn and always appeared unscathed. But like Shayna, there was more lurking under the surface. Once I figured out what that reason was, I knew that he and Shayna would understand each other perfectly—maybe even love each other, but they really needed to figure out their own issues before they could be more than friends.
2) Favourite quote from Friend is a Four Letter Word?
“One thing I’ve learned is that how you love someone is always evolving. To me, one of the most ignorant beliefs out there is that you can only love someone one way. And that that particular way—that the love will never change. But that’s just not true, Carter. Friends. Lovers. Nothing is ever written in stone. Lines can blur. You may screw up. Everyone does. When it’s real though, your heart allows for rewrites.”
3) A lot of authors say that they base their characters on people in their lives, did you?
Yes. Carter in particular is based on someone I know well. He’s fiercely protective of the people he loves, even when it means not taking as great of care of himself as he should.
4) Book (or series) you most wish that you had written?
The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty.
5) If you were a superhero what would your superhero name be and what powers would you have?
I’d love to be clairvoyant. I tend to over analyze things and create a bigger problem in my head than actually exists. It’d be nice to see things more clearly, and for what they actually are rather than stressing about silly things.
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls the Northeast home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession. She’s repped by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Steph’s works include Delicate, Grounding Quinn and Beautiful Things Never Last; My Heart for Yours and My Fate for Yours (with Jolene Perry); A Toast to the Good Times (with Liz Reinhardt) and the bestselling new adult LENGTHS series with Liz Reinhardt.