February 18, 2014
Author: Elana Johnson
Published: February 18, 2014
Publisher: AEJ Creative Works
Genre(s): Young Adult ♥ Contemporary ♥ Romance
Summary from Goodreads: The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she’s been avoiding for five months.
Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.
But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.
Average Goodreads Rating (as of 02/17/2014): 4.60
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- Christina liked this title. It goes on her third shelf.
**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
♥ Initial Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 3.5 stars! The stylized structure in which the author chose to tell this story took some time to get used to, but it eventually pulled me right in. I wanted more from the ending, but I can see why Ms. Johnson decided to leave it as open as she did. It definitely packed an emotional punch.
♥ The Lowdown: Eleanor “Elly” Livingston is keeping her lips firmly shut, too many secrets running rampant in her mind and every time she lets one loose, things don’t end so well for the person who helps her shoulder her burden. When the stairs in her apartment building get shut down for maintenance, she finds herself forced to use an elevator she’d do just about anything humanly possible to avoid. It, too, houses too many secrets and memories that her mind has no trouble bombarding her with. Left without a choice, though, she climbs in and soon finds herself trapped alongside the one person who played the biggest part in her secrets and memories, and once upon a time, filled the most important role in her life. Travis, once best friend and confidant turned boyfriend, is now placed permanently in the ex-boyfriend zone, but he hasn’t a clue why. More secrets that Elly has to hold in. But now he’s occupying the space beside her, hogging all the oxygen in the small space, and making her relive all the memories she’s desperately trying to dodge. With the elevator down and him insisting on talking, Elly isn’t sure how long she can hold in her secrets, especially when he was such a huge behind why she’s keeping them.
But when she shares her secrets, bad things happen.
♥ My Thoughts: Elena’s Possession series has been on my TBR for a while (I swear I’m going to have time for it one of these days..), so when this stand-alone contemporary of hers came across The Book Hookup’s emails, I jumped at the chance to review it. Going in, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into at all. In fact, I immediately thought my ARC was screwed up and I scrolled through twenty-odd pages or so before I realized the whole book was formatted in something similar to poem stanzas. (No worries, it’s not rhyming or anything.) Quite honestly, it took me a bit to get into it because of this and also because Elly’s thoughts felt very frenetic, and it was a tad hard to follow. But soon I found myself completely immersed, drifting with Elly as her mind bounced between moments past and present and the crippling fear of being trapped in an elevator with her ex-boyfriend and all the secrets that had settled between them. As a reader, you’re taken on an emotional journey filled with friendship, betrayal, longing, love, lies, heartbreak, and healing. And that’s all I’ll say on that so that I don’t spoil all the good bits.
The two places I felt that the story lacked was with the characters and the ending. For this to be a three hundred page novel, filled with as much turmoil and conflict as it is, I really felt a disconnect between myself and the characters. Like, maybe I was missing the depth behind their actions and motives that drove them as characters aside from the blatantly obvious. I wanted a little more in regards to them as people and who they were aside from their relationship with Elly. I feel like we’re limited on getting to know them because of how Elly’s mind replays the memories and how it is interspersed with her new life without them. Then in regards to the ending, like I stated earlier, I can understand why Johnson chose to take this path, but it felt very unsettled for me. I’m okay with living in the vague, but for there to be so much history between these two, I would’ve liked a little more than a hint of something awaiting them in the future.
♥ Rec It? Possibly. Overall, I found myself really enjoying the story and filing through Elly’s memories as quick as possible, trying to uncover where all her hurt and secrets were buried, and those proved to be well worth the wait. It absolutely pulled me in and made me feel things throughout the entire novel. However, due to Elevated being a verse novel, I don’t feel like everyone will like it as much as I did.
♥ A very special thanks to Elana Johnson for providing me with an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
♦ About the Author: ♦
Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as aPossession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.
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