The Backup Plan by Jen McLaughlin
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: March 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 254
Format: e-ARC
Source: NetGalley

I’m beyond help…

I threw a football before I could walk. Everything in my life revolved around football–and I loved every second. I was a star. Until, suddenly…I wasn’t. Now everyone thinks I’m the monster who killed his best friend. I’m an outcast on campus, silent and alone. Then Taylor Selmer walks back into my life. When will she learn–I’m beyond saving.

I need to save him…

Chase and I used to be friends. But after the accident, nothing was the same. We used to have something special–until we didn’t. But he doesn’t smile anymore. Doesn’t talk. Doesn’t play. It hurts me to see him this way, and I will do everything I can to get him back in the game. Whether he likes it or not.

*Note:  This book was provided to The Book Hookup by the Publisher via NetGalley but that did not in any way influence this review!

This is my first Jen McLaughlin read and I have to say that I enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the storyline.  Chase is broken character.  Because of a tragedy in his past he’s held in contempt by those who had been his friends and he’s no longer able to live his dream to play football.  He’s alone, lonely, and bitter.  He doesn’t want to move forward or to live his life to the fullest.  Enter Taylor.  She’s part of the plan to bring him back to the land of the living.  They’ve known each other most of their lives and, because of that, she’s able to insert herself into his life.  But, of course, there’s a catch…she’s also got some baggage.  Her working-class family is employed by his very rich one.  This adds a complication that proves to be an obstacle among all the others they face.

This is a story of ups and downs and of dealing with the pressures we all face from those around us…our parents’ expectations, our friends’ demands, and the beliefs of the world at large.  These characters are battling their pasts and their presents, all the while trying to move forward.  Their chemistry was good and I really enjoyed watching their budding romance.  What I would have also loved was a bit more time…a few more pages…so that the book didn’t feel quite so rushed.  It didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story but I’m a big lover of angst and could have used just a bit more here.  I loved and hated the secondary characters just like the author wanted me to and I enjoyed the depth they added to the story.

Overall, this was a quick read.  I enjoyed the characters, their interactions, and their romance.  Although this storyline wasn’t necessarily unique, I believe it was well done.  I can’t end this review without telling how much I loved the cover…but it also left me a bit cold that there wasn’t any focus on Chase wearing glasses in the book.  It’s a very little thing but it would have made me very happy.  Anyway, I don’t think this will be my last Jen McLaughlin book.  I’m interested in seeing what else she’s written and getting to know more of her characters. If you’ve read some of her books let me know what you think!

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