"A hero is just an ordinary person placed in extraordinary circumstances."
--Stir Me Up, Sabrina Elkins
--Stir Me Up, Sabrina Elkins
Publisher: Harlequin Teen, 268 pages
Publication Date: October 1st, 2013
I had no idea this book even existed until I saw Betty and Cass going all crazy about it on Twitter. They were just starting in and asked me to join saying they’ve heard really great things about it. Sure, ok. I leave for my trip in 2 days, I’ll do a read-along with my some of my favorite friends…what a fantastic decision that was! OMG I loved this book! For so many reasons. Let me break it down.
The story. There are so many different stories that all come together to create one beautiful book. Cami is an aspiring chef who wants nothing more than to please her well-known chef father. Julian is a Marine, wounded while serving, now back home trying to get his life back together. This is a relationship born of hate. I loved it. The dynamic between Julian and Cami is filled with tension and picking on each other and maybe a little violence in the form of muffin throwing. Julian starts off as a total asshole; Cami breaks him down. I love that she doesn’t take his shit and expects him to treat others kindly no matter what happened to him. The process of them getting together (the gym scene in the garage!?!?) is adorable and I fell in love with these characters.
Cami is a very driven character and it was so refreshing to read about a young woman who knows what she wants out of life in regards to her career and will stop at nothing to reach her goals. I don’t expect every 17 year old to know what they want out of life but it was nice to read about a girl focused on her future career. Julian is just my type of book boyfriend. Marine, strong, broken, in need of somebody to reach him. Their relationship is beautiful and hard-won. They laugh with each other and their dialogue is one of my favorite parts of the story.
I love how Sabrina Elkins discusses real life issues with Julian’s return home. This book is not fluff by any means and the way she handles his homecoming is emotional and respectful. I think she did a fantastic job of writing about Julian’s emotions and reactions to situations. I love watching him grow, develop feelings for Cami, and ultimately figure out what he wants out of life. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like coming back home after experiencing war and this book is a great look into this. It reminded me of Something Like Normal in that I really felt what these men were going through even if I really can’t relate it to anything in my own life.
LOVED the restaurant background as part of the setting. I loved reading about the kitchen and preparation and what goes into running a restaurant. I’m not a huge foodie and have no clue what goes on so I really enjoyed getting a look into this highly competitive and stressful world.
This book is a very emotional and lovely story. The characters are well-developed and lovable. The story is intense and also light-hearted and funny. This book felt like real life and I wanted to live in it a little longer after finishing.