Joint review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/04/04/joint-review-wrecked-by-shiloh-walker/
MinnChica: This story holds a very special place in my heart. First of all, I was with Walker at the Tucson Festival of Books the weekend that she found the WRECK THIS JOURNAL and this story was born. Second, it takes place in my hometown, Tucson, and I love the fact that my city is so wonderfully portrayed. Third, this is a friends to lovers story, and one that is done in such a way that I found myself falling head over heels for both Zach and Abby from the very first moment they stepped onto the page!
E: Like MinnChica this story is really special to me. I was lucky enough to watch Walker come up with the seeds of this story during the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books. Starting with those seeds then months later reading the finished novel was an amazing glimpse in both the skill and the art of an author. Walker combined several things I enjoy – friends to lovers, life and how it doesn’t always follow your plans, a great cast of supporting characters and memorable main characters to create a wonderful read. I had a blast following Zach and Abby’s interactions through WRECKED.
MinnChica: I am a huge fan of friends to lovers stories, and I thought that Zach and Abby had such a beautiful story. Although their friendship didn’t exactly start like a normal childhood friendship, they had some pretty intense bonds holding them together. A childhood in the spotlight of Hollywood, and Zach’s ability to always save Abby from her overbearing mother. I could feel how difficult it was for them to start a romantic relationships, and especially for Abby, having to deal with enough change as it was. Plus, watching Abby discover who she really was through the journal was so sweet!
E: I really liked how Walker highlighted the fact that child stars have just as many if not more issues then children who grow up without the spotlight. Zach was always a ground source for Abby yet she had him stuck firmly in the friend zone. I really felt for Zach as he tried to be supportive of Abby in her previous relationships because he didn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. The sacrifices he made were just amazing. I also felt for Abby as she struggled to deal with the wreckage of her life’s plans and to put the pieces back together again. Although for someone who decided to stop planning she certainly didn’t stop with the lists **grin**. Like MinnChica I really enjoyed watching Abby discover herself with a lot of hard work and some assistance. While Zach’s growth wasn’t as spectacular on screen he certainly made some hard decisions and risked his entire future. It was also lovely to have a hero that wasn’t all grrr Alpha and had a loving family behind him who had already opened up to Abby. Granted not everyone understood but that just added to the depths in their story.
MinnChica: Although it seemed like we didn’t spend a lot of page time with the secondary characters, I really enjoyed reading about Zach’s brothers and family. They added a certain balance to the book, and a great external conflict for Zach and Abby. I liked that they were divided about the growing relationship, and that although there were some jerky attitudes, it was an abrasive show of love for Zach. I don’t know if Walker has plans to continue writing in this “world,” but if she does, I would love to see Zach’s brothers get their own chance at love. Especially if we get to see Zach and Abby a little more.
E: Like you I loved Zach’s family. There was so much love and sibling rivalry between them that I enjoyed every second they came on screen. I have some serious hopes that Walker will continue write in this world because I would love to see them spotlighted individually along with their family dynamic. It was really good to see the mix of acceptance and anger over Zach and Abby’s relationship over the years because it showed that they cared instead of just disliking Abby because she was Zach’s girlfriend. They also provided a great contrast to Abby’s family over the years and helped show that a HEA was possible.
MinnChica: All in all I thought that Wrecked was a wonderful contemporary romance. I love the friends to lovers stories so much, and I thought that Walker did a wonderful job with these friends. I hope that we will get to see more stories from this group of friends and that we will be able to see Abby and Zach getting to enjoy their ever after. Contemporary romance fans definitely need to add this book to their To-Be-Read stack!
I give Wrecked a B
E: Wrecked has been one of the best new contemporaries I have read lately. Yes it holds a special place because I saw the initial seeds but that also meant I had high expectations for the end result. Walker certainly met those expectations and made me hope for more in this particular world. I enjoyed all of the characters as well as catching a glimpse of familiar territory. Like MinnChica I certainly recommend this those who enjoy contemporaries or friends to lovers.
I give Wrecked an A-