Chasing Nikki by Lacey Weatherford
Series: Chasing Nikki #1
Published On: February 29, 2012
Published By: Moonstruck Media
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Chase Walker used to be a good kid-charming, athletic, and with a bright future ahead, but that was before travesty struck his life, sinking him into deep despair. Caught up in a world of drugs and alcohol, he doesn't notice time slipping away until he's arrested for underage drinking one night. Fed up with watching her son destroy his life, Chase's mom relocates him to live in a small ranching community with his ex-military grandfather. Chase is far from happy about the situation until he meets, Nikki, the cute cheerleader who won't give football players like him the time of day. Chase enjoys a good challenge though and sets out to claim Nikki for his own. He soon discovers she's more than a pretty face-she's a balm to his troubled spirit also. But when tragedy strikes Nikki's life too, suddenly Chase finds himself put to the ultimate test. Can he trust Nikki, and all that she's taught him? Will it be enough?
This was not what I expected.
I went into this book expecting your typical bad boy gets moved to a new town and falls in love with a good girl and sorts his life out kind of story. That's exactly what I got for the first half of the book and I was enjoying that. Then suddenly it all changed and turned way deeper and more emotionally draining than I had prepared myself for. That wasn't a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was expecting.
Chase is your average bad boy.
He's been in trouble with the police and a reputation as a player and all round bad guy that followed him to his new town. He has the troubled past and controlling grandfather to rebel against, but there's something more to him. You can see even before he gets Nikki's good influence that there's a good guy underneath the bed boy exterior. His interactions with him mother and grandmother melted my heart and when his romantic side appeared it made me root for him even more.
The relationship was adorable.
Chase and Nikki just seem like the type of high school couple than you can see still together 20 years down the line with a family of their own and just as happy as they were at 17/18. I was rooting for them from the start and I loved the fact they never had a huge blow-out argument over something stupid like I'm used to reading about. I loved the way Nikki supported Chase through his struggles as well, even when he didn't really want help.
I loved the family aspect.
There was an emphasis on family in this book, specifically as both main characters had lost their fathers. I really enjoyed seeing the different family dynamics and how they evolved. Chase's developing relationship with his grandfather and how football brought them together was a nice addition to the story. I also liked seeing Nikki's family and her close relationship with her mother, which reminded me of my relationship with mine, and with her younger siblings. I've mentioned many times in reviews that I love kids in books, whether that be younger siblings or character's children, and the kids in this book were adorable.
This was emotionally impactful in ways I wasn't expecting.
Grief played a major role in this book and I found it interesting to see how each person dealt with the grief differently. In particular you have Chase who really doesn't cope well with grief and turns to drugs and alcohol, and at one point considers taking his own life as he can't handle his feelings. It definitely affected me and there were some tears shed towards the end of the book.
There was a downside to this book.
While I enjoyed the story and liked the characters, I didn't so much enjoy the way this book was written. I think the writing itself just let the book down a little. It didn't flow particularly well and felt a bit scattered a times. I didn't think the time jump worked very well, it just seemed as though a whole summer was cut out so that we could get to the interesting stuff quicker. I can understand why it was done but I think it could have been done better and in a way that made the story flow nicer. Also, a lot of the dialogue felt quite cringey and awkward to read, and at times didn't feel like realistic teenage conversation. Some of the football talk went completely over my head as well, but that's more my fault than the book.
Overall, this books has its really great points but I feel the writing let it down. It was in no way a bad book, but it's flaws meant I found it to be a decent, average read. I would recommend it if you're looking for a not-so-light contemporary romance that suddenly gets very deep and emotional.