by Debra Doxer
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Harmful Rush is a standalone, full-length novel set in the Remedy world. You do not have to read the first two books to read this book.
Skylark Samuels has a secret.
She’s not a normal teenager, although she plays one in real life. Pretending to be something you’re not isn’t easy, especially in high school where gossip is gold. For years, Sky manages to hide her uniqueness, until one fateful day when she exposes her gift, her curse, and all her fears come to pass. Now instead of going to college near home like she planned, she has to leave town and go someplace where the rumors can’t follow. The plan when she gets there: keep to herself and stay under the radar.
But blending into the background is impossible when local heartthrob Dylan Parks notices her. Even though Sky keeps her distance and doesn’t act like one of Dylan’s adoring fans, he goes out of his way to talk to her. Her. The girl who wants to be invisible.
Sky isn’t immune to Dylan’s charm, but getting close to him is a bad idea. It goes against the promise she made to herself. Besides, if Dylan knew the truth, he wouldn’t want her. If he discovered her secret, he’d treat her differently and possibly fear her. It’s happened before. But the more Sky gets to know Dylan, the harder it is to resist him, until fate intervenes.
A tragic event forces Sky to reveal herself to the one person she’s come to care for, and his reaction is unexpected. For the first time, she doesn’t feel so alone. But what she doesn’t realize is that she’s never been alone. When she finally lets her guard down, someone comes along who threatens to unravel everything, because being normal was never Sky’s destiny.
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”
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Quick Reasons: just a bit of insta-love; interesting “coming of age/discovery of self” journey; I didn’t really connect with these characters; the romance was a bit unbelievable; the plot was intriguing and entertaining, but not filled with many answers
Huge thanks to Debra Doxer and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
This was an interestingly bittersweet read for me. I became SUPER invested in the story pretty early on–the beginning of this hooked me, put me right into the action, and made me want to keep going. I wanted to know more–about Skylark, about her abilities, about the world around her and how such things came to be. Unfortunately, I felt a bit stiffed in terms of answers at the closing of this read–I don’t feel as if we really LEARNED much more about Sky than we start out already knowing, because she doesn’t come up with many answers on her journey either. It was a bit disappointing–I’d been hoping, I suppose, for a more complex story than the one I ended up being given.
That being said, this WAS an entertaining and thought-provoking read. While I didn’t necessarily feel a strong connection to the characters, I was also not wholly distanced from them–I cared about what happened, was rooting for them or disgusted by them in turn. I sat down to read this this afternoon, and finished it in a matter of a few short hours; the read is fast-paced and easy to fall into. I am intrigued by the world that I found myself residing in, and am interested in possibly picking up the other books in this series to see what else I’m missing out on. There’s a sense of…unfinished about this read, I guess–I’m not sure if the rest of the series holds the answers I seek, but I’m willing to at least try and find out.
The romance was a bit of an insta-love moment, and parts of it felt disingenuous to me as a reader. While it’s realistic for the most part, I felt Skylark and Dylan moved a bit too quickly in other instances. I was, honestly, more invested in the romance between Trevor and Maggie. There was also a bit of a love triangle happening that I didn’t particularly care for. Still, Dylan and Sky were endearing and adorable in their own way, and I wouldn’t pass their romance off as wholly unrealistic.
Overall, I had a fun few hours stepping into this world, even though I feel like I was left with more questions than answers at the ending. The characters are complex and believable, and the romance only a little unrealistic. I’d recommend this read to lovers of fantasy, genetic quirks, and fast-paced plots. Duck and run, penguins; danger lurks in these pages!