Author: Stephanie Lawton
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Publication date: December 3, 2013
*Mature situations and sexual content – recommended for ages 17+*
It’s impossible to focus on college biology when your family believes doomsday is imminent and the government is out to get you.
All Pete Wilson’s ever wanted is to become a veterinarian, but those dreams are going up in flames. Commuting to an urban college and helping his parents with their apocalyptic prepper crap is more than he can handle.
Worse, Pete’s asshole neighbor is stirring up trouble, his family’s stockpile has been destroyed and farm animals are turning up dead.
Lindsey Linger is the tomboy sister of his best friend. Now a sexy spitfire, she and Pete are liable to set the barn ablaze as their romance finally heats up. But she’s hiding a terrible secret, and rural life isn’t all bonfires and hayloft romps. That becomes clear one icy winter night when the survival of everyone Pete loves hangs in the balance.
Can Pete be the hero they need, or will this be the end of the world as he knows it?
This marks my fourth review for Stephanie Lawton’s books and to this day it never ceases to amaze me just how messed up her characters and stories can be. Shelf Life is such an amazing coming-of-age story that it certainly stands apart from her other works.
We have the story of Pete Wilson who’s going through the rough transition of being a teenager to being an adult. It’s not easy for anyone, let alone Pete who has to deal with getting (and promptly losing) the girl of his dreams, losing his best friend, a dangerously sexy college girl, dodging an asshole of a bully, a completely bratty sister who doesn’t give a flip about anything, a dad dealing with PTSD, and a mom just trying her best to keep everyone together all while trying to keep the family farm running and the bomb shelter stocked. Feel overwhelmed? Now you can imagine how Pete feels!
And I have to say, I loved watched Pete grow as a character, even if it was painful for pseudo-adult self to read at times. I really appreciated that even though this is marketed as a New Adult book, it’s really, really not about, you know, sexy times. There’s a lot of heavy, dark issues at work and the sporadic sexy times are more like breaks in the heavy suckage of reality. So if you are wary of the New Adult category, thinking it’s nothing but hot sexy times, this is a fantastic bridging of Young Adult and New Adult.
The only thing I wasn’t particularly fond of was Jay’s super brief and slightly random POV scenes. I wasn’t exactly sure the point of them, whether it to give Jay’s backstory or create sympathy for him. Note: any tiny amounts of sympathy the POVs might have created was quickly erased in the climax of the book. Jay, you a crazy ass and I don’t like you or your intentions.
Still, as this seems to be a series, I am very interested to see where this goes. I (of course) will be checking out any and all of Stephanie Lawton’s books.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST. The first THREE PEOPLE who comment on this review will get a little swag pack. You know you want it… you know you do.
Always a misfit, Stephanie Lawton writes twisted romance that tugs the heart strings then punches you in the gut.She has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles. She has a fascination with teacher-student relationships, bullies, psychics, doomsday preppers and larger-than-life characters.Making readers squirm is her greatest pleasure.Proceed with caution.