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Andrew Harper grew up in a house marked by tragedy. His older brother Owen did his best to shelter him, but you can only be protected from life’s pain for so long. Eventually, you end up just feeling numb…and isolated.
Loneliness was the one constant in Andrew’s life. Until one girl, met by chance in a high school hallway, changed everything. Emma Burke was a mystery and all that was beautiful in this world, the only air Andrew ever wanted to breathe. She took the lonely away, and filled it with hope and color, and Andrew would do anything to keep her safe, happy and whole.
But sometimes, what feels good and right is what ends up hurting us the most. And when Andrew and Emma are faced with an impossible decision, Andrew is tested to see just how far he’s willing to go for the girl who owns his heart.
Cuts are deep.
Scars are left behind.
And revenge beckons.
When Andrew finally gets his chance, in college, five years after his first love broke him completely, he finds out old feelings don’t really disappear just because you say you hate someone. The more he tries to avenge all that he believes he lost, the more he uncovers the real story of what happened years before.
Love is wicked. But a restless heart is never satisfied beating on its own. Can Andrew and Emma make it right before it's too late, or will the ties that bind them now destroy their only chance at a future?
Another New “Classic” by Ginger Scott!
There comes a time after reading an author you've loved since the very first time you laid eyes on her first book, that you don't need to decide WHY it deserves 5 out of 5 stars. You need to decide just how many of the five-star fabulous facets about the specific book you're reading by that author you simply MUST put into your review. There are exactly THREE authors for me where these times apply. Ginger Scott is one of those three authors and THIS is one of those times.
When I finished "Wicked Restless," I was speechless. I didn't know if I should read it again and make a list of things to talk about. I didn't know just how many different emotions I just put myself through. I had no idea how many of those emotions I could I tell you about without ruining the magic of the story.
When we finished "Wild Reckless," the story of Owen Harper, satiated and massively in love, we didn't know Andrew was getting his own story. However, you could feel it in your GUT that his story NEEDED to be told.
Andrew and Emma meet as teenagers. Andrew is an academic genius attending college while still in high school but, needs to attend the mandatory gym class everybody hates and he has to go to his high school to take the class. Ugh. Square dancing. I remember having to do square dancing in gym. I really did think to myself, "why the heck is she making Andrew square dance?" DUH! So Andrew could finagle himself across from Emma and be her square dancing partner! Yes, of course I smacked myself for that. But that should be a testament to Ginger Scott's writing. Sometimes some of the most common things, which should be obvious, aren't. If there is something Ginger Scott is NOT, it's predictable.
Their romance as teenagers comes to a massive and tragic halt and these two don't come together again until they're both in college. Andrew is attending college on a hockey scholarship and Emma is now Pre-Med. It is NOT a pretty reunion. In fact, it's the exact opposite of pretty. It's ugly and downright nasty.
These two drove me INSANE! I thought that by the time I was finished, I would have completely white hair, and I'd be gumming my food while endlessly rocking in a chair and mumbling "Anbloo-N-Embah, Anbloo-N-Embah." My emotions pulled in every direction and a few new ones. Up, down, this way, that way, here go sideways, throw your leg up behind your head! My gut and my HEART were like two pinballs in a pinball machine but with 100 different bumpers to smack the balls around.
There's a part in this book where Andrew is "away" at "school" because of a decision made on that tragic night where Andrew and Emma parted. And he's writing letters. Tons and tons of letters to Emma. And because of the letters and where I was in the story, and having a tiny speck of an idea where the book was going, I thought of the words "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight...," the song "Stay Gold" by Stevie Wonder began in my head, and I started an ugly cry.
My heart was simply broken for Andrew at that point. I believe that even at his age at this point in the book, that he did what he did for love. Not infatuation, not major like, but epic love.
Did I love Andrew and Emma together? Yeah, I did. I got to a frustrated point. You know, the point when you're actually talking BACK to your book? "Why don't you just TELL him?" "And you, you dope, tell HER what she obviously doesn't know!" But that's part of Ginger Scott's magic. She weaves and spins and twists and finally, you have this beautiful, glorious story of two people who need to be together in order for both of them to be able to breathe.
I typically don't refer to other reviews but in this case, I'm making an exception. The drama in this book, in a review (or two) I read, was described as being "far-fetched." WHAT? Ginger Scott infuses real life situations into every single novel she writes. The style of writing? Well, let's go back to the reference from "The Outsiders" up above.
Back when S.E. Hinton wrote that book, she infused real life gang drama into a tale about love, hate, heartbreak, and young people coming into their own despite all of the obstacles and hurdles. Ginger Scott is a fresh, newer fiction author that infuses real life drama into tales about love, hate, heartbreak and young people coming into their own despite all of the obstacles and hurdles.
If you read "The Outsiders" when you were in school, then you can easily see, as I do, Ginger Scott's stories of both Harper brothers, being on the grades 7-12 English reading list. There may be all of these new genre names NOW but it's still the type of fiction where you walk away with an entire research paper length analyzation in your head. Ginger Scott is writing the new "classic" fiction. One doesn't need to wait until the book is decades old to make it a part of you.
Another great story from Ginger Scott
I absolutely loved Wild Reckless and was looking forward to this next installment. Wicked Restless was gripping from page one. This writer does not disappoint.
The story that outshines them all
When Andrew and Emma meet as lonely, somewhat awkward teenagers, a sweet infatuation begins. Within a few classes and a few weeks, the sparks of first love glow brightly, and it seems they have, at this young age, found the road to happily ever after. But problems bigger than any teenager can bear and one tragic decision change the course of their lives forever. Split apart and left to move on, neither is prepared for the path on which Fate leads them when they come face to face five years later.
The Verdict: I have a unique problem whenever I get read to another of Ginger Scott's books. You see, I know that no matter what the story is about or where the characters take me, every single book I read afterward will be disappointing. So I find myself rushing through the other books on my virtual shelf, trying to get them out of the way before I open the book that I know will outshine them all. And Wicked Restless is most certainly that book.
I've never been a fan of stories in which I'm introduced to the characters when they are young and somewhat innocent, and then thrown forward several years when they are reunited, older, and usually bitter. It's always an odd shift for me, and I end up feeling like I've had something taken away from the story I anticipated reading. However, I didn't even glance at the summary before grabbing this book, and even if I had, it wouldn't have mattered. Andrew and Emma's story was just as amazing as everything else Ginger Scott writes.
When we first meet Emma, she's leading a complicated and sheltered life, though we don't get the real details of it until later. Her parents are more protective than one might expect, and Emma is careful not to break any rules or stray from their guidance. But then she meets Andrew, the sweet and handsome boy in her P.E. class, and their sweetly innocent love for each other blooms. Their relationship is as adorable as they are, youthfully unblemished and beautiful. But one tragic night, the kind of thing that could happen to anyone throws everything into turmoil, and before they can even digest what's happened, Andrew is taking the blame, and they find themselves separated.
When tragedy struck, Andrew stepped up to protect Emma, though he really didn't know what he was protecting her from. That sacrifice was brutal, though, sending him away from his family and into a youth reform system as dark as any prison. And though he tried to keep in touch, she never responded, disappearing from his life almost as if she'd never existed. Five years later, though, he gets the shock of his life when he finds her laughing and dancing in a club not far from where he's now enrolled in college.
Andrew and Emma's story is beautiful and heartbreaking, and while the situation is complicated, it never feels contrived. Consumed by bitterness over her apparent abandonment of him, Andrew reacts without thinking, intent only on hurting Emma the way she hurt him. Driven by the need for revenge, he strikes up a relationship with Emma's roommate Lindsay, using their friendship to paint Emma into a corner and forcing her to see him with another girl. Needless to say, that doesn't go well, and everyone gets hurt in the process.
Emma is as confused and hurt as Andrew is, but not for the reasons he thinks. As far as she knows, he disappeared, and watching him now romance her best friend is excruciating. This sort of scenario would probably have driven me nuts in any other book, but Ginger Scott has a way of laying it out in which you can't help but understand and feel for everyone, even when they're acting irrationally and emotionally, and you know it won't end happily.
It takes a while, since neither of them is really willing to lay their hearts out there, but the pieces slowly begin to fall into place, and Emma and Andrew start to realize that the circumstances of their past were absolutely out of their control. They still have that bond from their younger years, and as messy as Andrew's vengeful actions have made things, they're unable to stay away from each other. Watching them let go of the past and open up to a possible future together is the epitome of angsty, sweet romance.
Wicked Restless is an incredible journey through the innocence of first love, the pain of abandonment and judgement, and the bittersweet tenderness of reconciliation. Andrew and Emma's story is complex, and their ways of handling adversity are realistically immature. I'm not sure I've ever been so heartbroken over and invested in a couple, and my only disappointment is that their story didn't continue for another thousand or so pages. I realize my review is a bit vague, skipping over the major details and plot twists, but there's simply no way I can portray them with the depth that Ginger Scott does. Whether you're a fiend for angst or a fan of innocent love, Wicked Restless is the perfect love story. And quite frankly, if you've never read a romance by Ginger Scott, you're missing out an everything that makes the genre so addictive.
***FicCentral received this book from Wordsmith Publicity for free in exchange for an honest review.