Size Doesn’t Matter (79): Make It Right; Conviction

Size Doesn’t Matter (79): Make It Right; ConvictionMake It Right by Megan Erickson
Series: Bowler University #2
Published by William Morrow Impulse on September 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Max Payton lives by two rules:
Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.

When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University for a tail spin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with…and who challenges everything he thought he knew.

Lea Travers avoids guys like Max - cocky jocks who assume she's fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. But during the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem...

When the assaults ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it’s too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability…and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.

A couple of weeks ago, I was flailing over the cuteness of Make It Count, and I’ve actually already purchased a copy of it for a friend. Since I loved the little bit of Max and Lea at the end of that book, I was so excited for Make It Right. I mean, I already shipped it, so there’s no way that could go wrong, right? Wrong.

There’s definitely some good stuff in Make It Right. Lea’s got permanent leg damage from an accident, and she walks with a limp. She’s strong and doesn’t take shit from people. Any moment when Danica makes an appearance is a great moment, though I do wish the book had been about her and Monica instead. Lea’s dad’s a precious cinnamon roll. The family stuff with Max is pretty good too, though I think his dad’s emotional arc is a bit too rushed to be entirely believable. The whole plot about self-defense and the muggings on campus was great though.

Unfortunately, I don’t ship the ship. I don’t unship Max and Lea either, but I mostly don’t care about them. In theory, Make It Right is a hate to love story, but Erickson skips the hate part directly to the love. The whole reason I adore that trope is that it lends itself to banter rather than sentiment, but Make It Right is chock full of sentimentality. Though Make It Right is all about how hard both Max and Lea find it to trust, they both instatrust and instalove all over each other.

Make It Right is an okay book for me. If you’re cool with romances high on sentiment, you’ll probably really like it.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (79): Make It Right; ConvictionConviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Narrator: Michael Crouch
Length: 9 hrs, 59 mins
Published by Listening Library on March 22, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn't fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden's father, a well-known Christian radio host has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son's hands; Braden is the key witness in his father's upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four mile per hour pitch already has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden's saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.

Conviction really wasn’t on my radar at all. It’s actually not too often that I read a book solely because of a recommendation just because I do know about most titles, at least in YA, and I try anything that sounds like it could possibly interest me. Sometimes, though, someone convinces me to try out one of those books that I’d dismissed as not being a Christina book. So yeah, Dahlia Adler (author of amazing books like Just Visiting) got me again.

I can totally tell why I wasn’t interested in Conviction when I read the blurb. I mean, I’m into sports stories only if I’ll also get a romance basically, which, fair warning, you don’t here. Conviction‘s dark, sad, and often frustrating. It’s one of those intentionally frustrating books that makes you wish you could reach into the book, grab a character, and give them a good shake.

There are a lot of bad parents in YA fiction, so Conviction‘s not original in that, but I do think the way that Gilbert handles it differs. Often, the abuse of the parents is on the surface, and it’s obvious to the main character. Braden, though, loves his dad. He’s been brought up by his single father, abandoned by his older brother, and has no one else. Braden has some sense that his dad isn’t always entirely fair with him, but he blames himself for most of that. It’s a really tragic portrayal of the way emotional (and physical) abuse can damage a kid.

As a consequence of how he’s been raised, Braden’s got some really horrible opinions. He says some horrible shit about homosexuality, which obviously he’ll have to start facing by the end. Conviction reminds me (not remotely in plot obviously) of Things I Can’t Forget. Both main characters have completely skewed world views because of the how hateful and judgmental the flavor of Christianity they’ve been raised to believe in is. I’d actually expect myself to hate both Braden and Kate, but I just feel sorry for them and glad that they’re ultimately able to escape that brainwashing.

The resolution frustrates me too. I can’t stop using that word because this book really is so fucking frustrating, but in a way that I think really reflects the actual world in a way that’s readable, though-provoking and necessary. All book, I couldn’t wait to find out the truth of what happened that night (whether his dad really murdered that cop and how Braden’s testimony would go), and it just didn’t go as I was expecting. View Spoiler » Man, I hope someone gives Braden lots of hugs and lots of therapy. Poor kid.

This is not a book I ever would have picked up on my own but I’m glad Dahlia lovingly forced it on me.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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One response to “Size Doesn’t Matter (79): Make It Right; Conviction”

  1. Oh my god that Sherlock gif is absolute perfection. And yeah, I basically agree with all you said. Because duh we are twins.
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