Monday, November 21, 2016

She Runs Away by Jessica Calla -Review

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Author: Jessica Calla
Publication Date:  15 November, 2016
Publisher: BookFish Books
Series:  Sheridan Hall, book 2
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 17 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

After tragedy strikes New Jersey University's Sheridan Hall, freshman quarterback Ben Riley’s stable, normal life is turned upside down. Sidelined from playing the game he loves and on the verge of losing his scholarship, Ben wants nothing more than to escape the chaos of college and return home to rural Pennsylvania and his family.

Yet, there’s something that keeps him from running. Or someone. A cute blonde he had a chance with but blew off for all the wrong reasons.

Megan Smith has secrets. Secrets that have burned her in the past. Secrets she’s unwilling to share with anyone at Sheridan Hall—especially Ben, her sexy, rough-around-the-edges floormate who broke her heart in a matter of days after moving into Sheridan. Meg decided early on that it’s easier to live life on her own than to share her secrets and let people in.

Meg runs, and Ben follows. But sooner or later, the clock on their chance at love will expire. With inner demons dragging them both down, they must find a way to stop running and trust one another or risk losing their perfectly matched love forever.

My Review:

She Runs Away is my first book from Jessica Calla and I am happy to have found her. I will say that while this can be read as a standalone it would have been better if I had read book 1, She Laughs in Pink, first. There is a rather significant event that occurs in book one that play a large roll in book two. The author does a great job of explaining what basically went on in book one, but reading how the entire situation came to be and went down would be ideal. Just something to keep in mind before you head into this book.

She Runs Away is the story of Ben and Megan, two characters that you meet in book one, in fact Ben plays a major role in book one. All of the residents of the Sheridan Hall basement are reeling after a tragic event changes their freshman year of college and their lives forever. Everyone one is struggling to find there place in this new reality. Ben is essentially fighting the effects of PTSD from the tragic event, he's been injured and his football career is now in question, his heart has been broken, his reality shattered...he's lost and drowning under feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Megan has secrets, secrets that if discovered could change everything she is trying to find for herself at New Jeresy University, this secret when discovered has ruined friendships and romantic relationships and she fears that it will happen again with her ‘basement’ family and especially her budding relationship with Ben.

I really enjoyed getting to know the characters from Sheridan Hall, even the ones outside of the basement, hello Second Floor Dave, I am looking forward to seeing you again. *giggles* Having not read the first book I didn’t feel like I connected much to Chase and Juliet but Ben, Megan, Maggie, and Rocco I just want to be their friend.  I want to go back to college and live in unisex dorms.  Go back to that time when you are thrown together in a tense situation with strangers and a find life long friendships.  I will say that while I liked Megan she also wasn't my favorite character.  I think her constant pushing away of Ben eventually begins to wear on the reader.  I understand her fears and her desire to have something (I won't go into that and tell the secret) that she has subconsciously craved her entire life, but I will say I can't blame Ben at all when he finally says he's had enough.  She forgets that she is not the only one with problems and concerns, I just wish that it hadn't taken her so long to figure that out, it makes her harder to connect to than the other characters.  I also wish we had had a bit more closure when it came to certain events.  When parts of Megan's past come back they feel as though they get resolved a bit to easily considering the years and years of heartache that past caused.  When the Carly tries to essentially become Megan to date Ben, the circumstances surrounding that, I wish it had been taken where it needed to go.  This girl is presumably studying to be a psychologist and blatantly ignores every ethical code she will be held to as a psychologist and no one really does anything?  I think that will sit in my head for a while so I can seethe properly over it.

I loved the chemistry between Ben and Megan, even when I wanted to smack Megan over the head I never wanted them to not become a couple.  They are a 95% match after all.  Their moments of passion were totally steamy, their fights relatable and understandable, their snarkiness hilarious, their love for their family and friends sweet.  They are all in all simply a great couple.  I think in the case of Ben at least I could have had another book or two revolving around them.  Ben needs more help than he gets in this book, but I have faith that as we saw quite a bit of Chase and Juliet in She Runs Away we will see more of Ben and his progression in future books.  

She Runs away is a feel good romance with a lot of heart and soul.  The emotions in this book run high, there is so much going on for this group of men and women.  They are making the choices now that will shape who they become after college and where they will go.  They are struggling with heartache, loss, love, family, and friendship.  They are discovering who they are and are building the foundation that will hold them up as adults outside of college and carry them into their future.  

If you are looking for a sweet, emotionally charged read to curl up with as the weather gets cooler look no further.  Jessica Calla has done an excellent job bringing her characters to life and giving us a place to escape to that is firmly rooted in reality.  These women and men of Sheridan Hall are who we are or who we have been.  Their lives may be a bit more explosive than ours but they are characters you can connect with, feel for, and understand.  Keep in mind, as I mentioned in the beginning of my review, that I suggest reading She Laughs in Pink prior to She Runs Away.  You can read them out of order but I promise you will be able to immerse yourself into this world more easily if you start at the beginning.  Fans of Rachel Van Dyken's Wingman Series, Cora Carmack's Rusk University Series, or Abbi Glines Rosemary Beach series will enjoy Sheridan Hall!  


Jessica Calla is a contemporary romance and women's fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she's not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you'll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once).
Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She recently became the oldest marketing intern ever at BookFish Books. A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog.

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU for the awesome review! I appreciate you posting for SHE RUNS AWAY and for taking the time to read it! -- Jess