As most of you will know, I've been taking part in a challenge as well as a ton of blog tours all hosted by Samantha over at Chick Lit Plus. Wondering why I'm mentioning that in this post? Because the amazing novel Destined to Fail was written by Samantha herself! She's been working hard to make this novel a reality and I'm glad I've been able to take part in the process in a small way.
Here's what this debut novel is all about, courtesy of Samantha March's website:
Jasmine Jones is ready to begin her new life as a college student, and is ecstatic to have best friend Abby by her side. But weeks into their new college life, Abby drops the bomb- she is pregnant, and dropping out of college. Jasmine can’t handle the fact that Abby is wasting her opportunity to get an education, and going back to her cheating, abusive boyfriend. She struggles to move on from her friendship with Abby, but befriends two new girls at college. Everything seems back on track for Jasmine- great new friendships and roommates, a strong relationship with boyfriend Nate, and excelling at her college courses. But Jasmine’s newfound happiness is shattered when her pregnancy test comes out positive. Does she have to drop out of college now and become a young mother? Will Nate stay with her? How can she afford a child? Jasmine’s life has been filled with obstacles and challenges along the way- from a missing father, sexual and physical abuse, and addictions that tore her family apart. With this latest setback, Jasmine fears her life will always be a struggle. Destined to Fail is one woman’s story about overcoming adversity in life, about taking the negatives and finding a positive, and about never giving up hope.
Put quite simply, I loved Destined to Fail. I read it in one afternoon because I could not put it down. Jasmine's story grabbed hold of me and would not let go even after I finished reading the book. A sign of a good book is when you continue to think about it once you've stopped reading and that was the case for me with this novel. Everyone's stories were wrapped up nicely (without it being too "picture perfect") at the end of the novel but I still found myself thinking about how the characters would continue living and I loved that.
I have to warn potential readers that this is not exactly a lighthearted read. There are some very heavy story lines that require a mature reader. The three main girls, Jasmine and her new college friends Kiley and Cari, have endured almost every kind of abuse there is in the course of their fairly young lives. I know these things happen in the world and I know I am fortunate because I've never had to deal with anything like that, but it was still hard to read at some points. But I think that really adds to the novel and helps you connect with the characters. Life isn't perfect and what matters is how you deal with the curveballs you're thrown. Jasmine is an incredibly strong and courageous woman and, as the synopsis says, is somehow able to use the negatives in her life and turn them into positives. She is an amazing role model for for women of all ages, not just young females. If you don't take anything else away from this novel, at least appreciate the good things you have in life and try to find a way to make everything else good too.
What I really loved about this book was that I really felt like I was living Jasmine's life right along with her. It helped that I knew exactly how she was feeling when she went away to school - when I started university I also left a new boyfriend back home and lived with my best friend. I felt like I was right along with her as she parked her car and went to check out her new living space and when she made friends with girls down the hall. I may not understand her desire to be totally dressed up for class every day (I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl) but I do appreciate that she understood how important school was and how to balance school and fun.
Overall, I loved this book. I think all females should read it because it offers a glimpse into a life that most people (hopefully) won't ever encounter themselves. It should help you become motivated to do something about abuse - simply keeping an eye on a friend you think may be in trouble or volunteering your time at a women's shelter. All in all, this is an amazing book - especially when you realize March is a first time author. I encourage everyone to check out this novel because it provides a fantastic story and some strong characters.
Happy reading :)