One golden boy…
Judd Jackson had it all—star football player with a college scholarship, perfect family, tons of friends, and a beautiful girlfriend. He was the most popular guy in town … until a family secret burned it all to the ground. Now, he’s the object of scorn and ridicule, and the only thing he has left is his scholarship and counting down the days until he can leave town.
One goal-oriented girl…
Sunny Blackfox was alone in the world, but she had big plans and big dreams to keep her occupied. She didn’t have time for anyone in her life. That was, until she came to the rescue of the boy she always had a thing for.
They have everything going against them, but maybe, if they are lucky, they will make it out of town after graduation together … or maybe never.
This is a gorgeously written mature YA book – an emotional, dramatic and romantic story that deals with some pretty heavy themes, but that is also sweet, funny and uplifting. This book captivated me from start to finish, and I loved it!
Judd Jackson was the golden boy who had it all – quarterback with a college scholarship, good looks, popularity, best friends and a hot girlfriend. But a family secret ruined it all, and now, through no fault of his own, he is an outcast who is subjected to strange looks from total strangers and daily ridicule by the people he used to call his friends.
You only really knew who your true friends were when you were at your lowest with nothing to offer. After the smoke cleared, that was when you finally saw who was left standing beside you. Unfortunately for me, I found myself alone when everything had been said and done.
Judd is existing for the day that he can finally leave town for good and start over… and then along comes Sunny Blackfox.
Sunny is quiet and a bit of a loner. She is also all alone and has been through so much in her short life, but she is hanging in there waiting for graduation so that she can get out of town and attend culinary school and make her dreams come true. Sunny had crushed on Judd from afar for most of her childhood, but like most of the people she attended school with, he never really noticed her. But when they are paired up for a school assignment, and she sticks up for him against the people that are making his life miserable, he suddenly starts to pay attention.
I didn’t know whether I wanted to laugh or cry because of this girl.
She was like a teenage Yoda, I could swear.
Judd and Sunny have a beautiful, beautiful relationship. Both considered outcasts, they quickly become friends, and feelings soon develop as they begin to spend time together. Both of them have been beaten down by life, but while Judd has taken the ‘head in the sand’ stance, planning to ignore it all until he can leave, Sunny is bold and brave. She fights back, determined to protect herself and Judd from those that would tear them down, and she teaches him so much about standing up for himself. She’s a wonderfully positive girl who is strong, brave and resilient with a great sense of humour and I absolutely loved her!
The development of their love story is easy, natural, and so, so sweet! Judd may have been brought low but he still has a spark to him, and I loved the confidence that he had in flirting with Sunny mixed with the vulnerability that he felt knowing that she was something special and wanting to do right by her. Neither of them have experienced feelings like the ones they have for each other, and watching them fall was absolutely gorgeous!
I looked down into her beautiful face, cataloguing every feature: her dark, fathomless eyes; her smooth, soft-looking skin; and her full lips. I never stood a chance.
As I studied her, her eyes searched mine, and then she bit her lip, and I was gone.
But as much as Judd and Sunny want to be together, real life and the dark characters in their lives are determined to get in the way. They battle against violence, brutality, neglectful parents, vicious schoolmates, and pure circumstance as they count down the weeks until they can get away. And their battle to stand strong in spite of it all will be the fight of their very lives.
I love a really well written romantic YA drama, and that is exactly what this book is. Allen sucked me in from the very beginning with her beautifully descriptive storytelling – from the town to the people who inhabit it, and of course Judd and Sunny. I fell in love with both of them individually and I couldn’t get enough of either of them. Their stories are truly heartbreaking, but I loved watching them find something so special together.
As long as he looked at me with that soft, sweet look offering me his hand, I would follow him anywhere.
Their story is tragic yet beautifully heartwarming. The drama is pretty intense at times but it’s balanced well with lighter, sweet moments that made me smile, and though their journey is a difficult one, I loved watching it all play out.
This is my first book by Sadie Allen and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of her work in the future (I’m especially hoping for a book for Sunny’s best friend Molly)
I loved this one – 4 stars.
An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
For similar reads, check out our YA Recommendations page
To celebrate the release of Maybe Never, the author is giving away a dreamcatcher (read the book), an adult coloring book and an ebook copy of Maybe Never.
The Escapist Book Blog is not responsible for this giveaway
About Sadie Allen
Sadie Allen lives in Texas with her family and her dog Penny. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, catching up on her favorite shows, or chasing her family around the house.