Robin York a.k.a. Ruthie Knox
Genre: New Adult
Sex scenes: hot
Caroline & West: (1) Deeper
YA Reading Bingo Challenge 2014: A book that made you cry
Warning: intentionally crude language ahead.
Caroline Piasecki was always the good girl: a good daughter to her widower father, a good student planning to follow her father into the law and a good girlfriend of three years to her high-school boyfriend. That is, until she broke up with Nate the summer before she returned to Putnam for her sophomore year in what she thought was an amicable break-up. When her naked pictures are suddenly all over the Internet attached with her name, home town and college, Caroline’s knows her good girl status is lost forever. Instead, she’s a slut, a whore, a dirty bitch who deserves what’s coming to her. That’s what the anonymous messages all echo and what the refrain in her head drums repeatedly like a broken record: she deserved it.
Knowing that her best friend Bridget has her back, Caroline begins a one-woman campaign to erase her name and image from the Internet – to little avail. Overnight, she’s become scared to look any guy in the eye in case he’s seen her sucking Nate’s dick, scared over the now-monumental decision of what shirt to wear in the morning in case she looks like a slut asking for it, but most of all, terrified of the day that her father finds out about the pictures and the inevitable disappointment that will follow. The last person Caroline expects support from is bad-boy West Leavitt. Her neighbour in freshman year, Caroline has been under strict instructions from her father to stay well away from West, despite her fierce attraction to him. He has a reputation as a dealer and when he punches Nate allegedly over derogatory comments made against her, Caroline is horrified: she doesn’t need any more bad-press.
West makes Caro realise that she can’t try to undo what’s already been done – only accept it and work to overcome her fears. He makes her confront her true feelings and as they spend sleepless nights at the bakery where he works night shifts, time with their mutual friends Bridget and Krishna and constantly texting wishing they were in each other’s company, all the while being firmly not-friends, Caro is slowly able to come to terms with the harm that has been done to her. Against their will, both Caro and West find themselves sinking deeper into each other’s skin until ‘just friends’ is a mockery of what their relationship has become and they’re both forced to re-evaluate their feelings for each other and figure out exactly what they want – and need.