Use Somebody by Riley Jean
** I received this book as part of the Goodreads First program; in no way does it affect this review, but I would like to thank the author so much for sending me one! She also included some great swag: a signed bookmark, cute bottle cap magnets, and a lovely bracelet! the bracelet was adorably cute, and I recommend any fan getting one!**
Actual rating: 4.5 stars (I rounded up to five, because this book pretty much deserved it.)
To be honest, when I received this book in the mail, I looked at its massive, textbook-like size, tiny font, and brimming of text on all its pages, and said to myself, “This is going to take me three weeks, a month, a year to finish this book especially with my work schedule.”
Enter in Ms. Riley Jean’s addicting writing and next thing you know you’ve finished this 428 page whopper in two days – work be darned, as Scarlett would say.
The first thing in my mind is that there is no doubt that Riley Jean is an amazing writer. Her writing style was a breeze to read through. It would be the thing that would make me go – when I knew I needed to stop – oh, what’s the harm in one more chapter. I will tell you the harm: it was nowhere near just one more chapter. Her writing had a flow to it, and her ability to craft a complex story filled with complicated and dynamic characters was superb. Anything she writes in the future, I will sure to be looking out for.
Also, she has a killer taste in music. Seriously. The songs she was picking was taking me back to my 2008 Alternative phase, and now I’m going to have to YouTube all these songs that I didn’t even know existed and go jam. And I may or may not have totally fangirled a little too much over the use of Marianas Trench – one of my favorite bands ever. Also, I have to admit: for all the songs used, I’m surprised “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon was not mentioned, lol.
I was also shocked by that twist with her past. As we kept going with the story, I thought I would understand what had happened back in her past – never thinking there was something coming – until BAM! A killer twist that had me totally pushing my ranking up another star. I can’t remember the last time I was this shocked by something in a book because despite the hints she gave, I totally didn’t think this would be the big reveal or that there would even be a big reveal. I was definitely amazed.
I also was amazed by the depth that each of the characters had. In Use Somebody, all the cast of characters were dynamic and were complicated. Lately in novels, if a side character is introduced, it is usually just a vague cartoon sketch of what a person is, but in this book, everyone had flaws and traits and the background characters didn’t flow into just one big haze. If you described people – even the smaller parted people – I could tell you who was who.
There were only a few complaints that I had in the story, which made me take half a star, but truthfully, I think they all worked out in the end. Some of the complaints I had about the past (timing wise) was explained later on, and even when I hated some of the decisions that Scarlett was making and didn’t very much like her at those moments, I could understand where she was coming from and why she was making those decisions. Scarlett had a realness to her and a brokenness and even if I wouldn’t have done some things, I have to realize this was the character that Riley Jean created and I’m sure a lot of people would do the things that she would. The only really big complaint that I had was the length. I did read why the author decided to make it so large, but it still felt very daunting to read a contemporary so big. It was not really filled with a bunch of boring parts of fillers, though, as one would think and the author really did use up all of the space she had for the right reasons.
I was also excited because I’ve read a few New Adults in the past, and truthfully, while they saw it’s “an emotional journey” and “concerning broken, damaged characters” most of them haven’t come close to those descriptions, fallen quite flat, or even just used the new adult term to have touchy-feely times with no real plot. As someone else mentioned in their review, this is how New Adult should be done. I really was taken on an emotional rollercoaster, and I’m not gonna lie, I may have yelled at this book – mostly because two certain someones refused to get their acts together and just be with one another – and anything that brings out that emotion in me, is a good book. This book definitely brought out the feels, and that was the driving force behind me reading it so fast. I just wanted to see my little ship get together. It was a delicious will-they-won’t-they throughout the book and even though I hated it, I loved it, too.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s unlike any of the NA books I’ve tried so far, and honestly, I think it’s going to make me rethink them in the future. I will definitely be following Riley Jean’s writing career, because she can certainly write. This book really was an emotionally packed ride – albeit very long – but after finishing it in a two day book binge, I can’t really complain. There were a few little issues I had with it, but all of them seemed to fly away because this book really does something to your mind. It little twists and beautifully written characters made rethink any faults and only focus on the good. The cover is gorgeous, the playlist was amazing, and the story itself was beautifully done. Thank you so much Riley Jean for sending me a copy!!!
(See all the exclamation marks? It means it’s super thankful. I’m sure you could have figured that out from the first one, but I did two more because that’s what you do with excitement over a free book.)
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