Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eliza's Review: The reason I stay by Patty Maximini

                                               The Reason I Stay

Title: The reason I stay
Series: No
Author: Patty Maximini
Release Date: 9th September, 2014
Rating: 3.5 "Jerkface" stars
Cliffhanger: No

Jack Daniels is the cure to all evils.
Sex should be casual and, preferably, anonymous.
Giving a damn is for nurses, philanthropists and suicide hotlines.

My name is Mathew Rogers and those are the values I built my adult life around. They are also the reason I had to forsake everything I loved in Seattle and embark on a solitary road trip across the country, with no direction other than searching for the next small town, the next girl, and the closest liquor store. 

Boredom, frustration and a series of unfortunate decisions led me to the rickety-ass town of Jolene, Alabama—a town I wanted to leave behind from the moment I passed the welcome sign. But it was there where I met her. The girl who made me question everything I’ve always believed in, and the only one who has ever had the power to break my heart. 

Her name is Lexie. 
She’s beautiful, and I’m pretty sure she hates me.
And for once in my life, I give enough of a damn that I keep finding a reason to stay.

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Twenty - Four year old Matthew Rogers rolls into Jolene, Alabama with his Maserati named Greta and a shitty attitude. On a four month extended vacation/exile from his role as a Lawyer in Seattle, he happens upon the Town and eventually The Jukebox Diner. Fed up with not being allowed home until whatever mess he has created has been cleared up by his less than interested Father; he has no problem taking it out on his waitress.

Lexington Blake is trying to have a good day but it's about to get worse. The twenty - one waitress is about serve up more than dinner. After trying to make nice with her moody out of town customer; who so far has refused to look at her, made fun of her name and insulted her meagre existence. He's downright rude and I had to mentally high five the girl for putting up with him for as long as she did; but when she finally does decide to let rip, it's standing ovation-slow clap worthy.

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He's angry and shocked and even worse can't get Lexie off his mind, she's the first person who has ever called him out. She on the other hand doesn't want anything to do with him or his subsequent apologies. Unable to leave until she does Matt slowly immerses himself into the town and it's residents, which means he also he he sees more of Lexie and eventually wears her down - getting to know her and eventually slowly but surely becoming more than friends.

"I want that because you change me. Every second we're together, you reach inside me and erase a bit of the guy I used to be. Every second you the turn me into this new man, with feelings, a sense of responsibility, a fucking conscience, and all this sappy shit I keep thinking and saying to you. And the worst part is I like it. I like it more than I like Greta and Jack Daniels. I like it like I like you, and I really like you."

Lexie and Matt have both experienced loss & pain and their approaches to dealing with it are vastly different. Matt's previous approach was more destructive and although he is try to atone and make a new life for himself there are still some unresolved issues; whereas Lexie is optimistic. She sees the good, makes and hopes for the best; the same applies with her relationship with Matt.

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"You let people see the real you; the girl with the smile; and the colorful flowers on her arm. I don't. I put on a tie, gel up my hair , hide my tattoos, and pretend to be that guy. And I believe that I'm him, mostly because I don't even know who I really am."

Matt's past collides with his future and it has devastating effects to the new life he has built. I have to confess it was strongly emotive and I was far more invested in their relationship than I realised. I was totally convinced by his evolution in the end. The journey isn't an easy or simple one, but one definitely worth taking.

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"I needed to tell you that meeting you was the best, most life-altering event that has ever happened to me. You're a sun, Lexie. You bring light, and warmth, and life to everything around you..."


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