Addison: Secrets have a way of getting out. And I, Addison Parker, am the queen of secrets. Really, I’m the queen of the entire school, but that’s one label I never wanted. After an injury leaves me benched from cheerleading, it’s a relief. I can spend time with my two best friends: yoga pants and books. That’s secret number one. Secret number two? Well, I’d have to kill you if I told you. The only person I want to tell is Bookboy, my anonymous online friend. In my head, he’s perfect, a dashing prince straight out of one of my romance novels. Whoever he is, he’s not the one person I can’t even look at. Because Julian Callahan is definitely not a prince. But maybe a prince isn’t the answer because my life has never been a fairytale. Julian: I have a secret. Really, I have a few. I am not my twin. Okay, that’s more fact than secret. My brother is dead, and I don’t miss him. That juicy enough? I think I’m supposed to wish he were here, but he did something terrible that night. I’m writing a romance novel. Love is kind of cool, sue me. But that’s not the secret. That’s about a girl I’ve known for years, and I’ve never been able to stop thinking about her. I also have this new online friend. LitGirl makes me smile a lot these days. And yet… she’s not the one I want. At least, I don’t think she is. How do I choose between the only girl who knows me, the one leaving her hilarious comments in the margins of my book, and the girl I’ve loved my entire life? One is anonymous. The other, only a dream. But these secrets… they just might hurt us all. Book 3 in the Redefining Me series, The C Word is a full-length, standalone YA romance with all the feels.
The C WordFeatured
There is pain and heartache, but even more, there is truth, kindness, and understanding that stem from the honesty that Addison and Julian reveal to each other throughout the story. Even though that night tore their group apart and sent them all off in different directions, trying to deal with the accident in the only ways that allowed them to cope, they all share a bond that has thrust some of them back together and is seeming to bring Addison and Julian some of that same closure.
While Addison talks to an anonymous guy online about books, she finds that her life really isn't all it's cracked up to be, heading the cheerleading team and dealing with mean girls like her supposed best friend. She finds strength in old friends when she needs help most, and while Julian tries to tell himself he won't be there for her, he finds that it's hard to stay away from the girl he's always cared about, but hasn't been able to reveal his feelings to because of his brother, Cooper, who was always deemed the golden child.
With cameos from the other characters that make up the first two books in the series, and with a hearty helping of romance, upset, and coming to terms with the past, MacQueen and Craven have done it again. Any contemporary novel by these two should surely be on every YA romance reader's to-be-read list.
Addison becomes one of the popular girls and the head cheerleader. When she hurts her ankle, she's forced to sit out of cheerleading and her "friend" Meghan loves the chance to swoop in an steal Addison's title. As time goes on, Addison realizes her thoughts are shifting and those who she thought were her friends actually aren't.
Then, there's Julian. He always seems to be there when Addison needs him, but she can't stop seeing Cooper every time she looks at him. Cooper still haunts her nightmares and seeing Julian doesn't make things harder. But the more time she spends with him, the more she realizes how different from his brother he really is.
THE C WORD is a great read for fans of contemporary romance with all the feels. This book will tear at your heart and heal it at the same time. It's a story about finding yourself and discovering what true friends are. I've always loved Julian's character so it was nice to learn more about him and why he didn't like his brother.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of contemporary romance, emotional reads, and sensitive topics.
This story was a lot more emotional, in my opinion. Both characters are “broody,” and there is a lot of internal dark thoughts. While I’ve personally struggled with what the other characters face in this series, I haven’t ever had Addison’s experience. I think that’s why it hit me a little harder than most of the others. It’s an awful situation that I can only imagine. After two other books, I’m attached to these characters, and I don’t like to see my precious babies hurting. The sensitive subject was very well handled, though.
Julian was the more relatable one for me in this book. I’ve loved the “loner” since book one, and it was great being able to finally get inside his head. There were so many times, especially when he was thinking or talking about writing, that I thought, “Oh my gosh, is that me?” It was great! I loved seeing him grow as a character, both of them for that matter. And, of course, I got more of my precious Becks, who I somehow love even more now. I didn’t think that was possible.
This series was so so good (understatement)! I’m sad it’s over, but each book ended well. It’s definitely a re-read in the future/buy all the physical copies series. The characters were all written in a realistic, relatable way that really puts the reader into the story. I cannot wait for Becks book this fall!! I will absolutely continue reading both authors. If you like sweet contemporaries that deal with real issues, definitely check out these books.
*Full original review on Functionally Fictional.*
- Well written and relatable
- Emotional and heartfelt
- Wonderful characters