Release Day Review: Freedom by Beth Maria

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Freedom is a love story involving teenagers and it definitely reads like one. The characters are what you’d expect them to be at that age – self centered, seeing everything as the end of their life, scared, unable to read people and situations correctly, and making rash decisions that end up altering their lives forever. In that respect, Beth Maria did a great job at portraying the age and state of mind of her characters.

Synopsys

Chloe Reed and Jake Peterson have been in love since they first set eyes on each other when they were just children. As the years went by, Jake tried to hide his feelings, whilst Chloe let hers be known. Eventually, it was all too much and Jake gave in, though their relationship was kept a secret. Until Chloe drops a bombshell that changes their lives… 

Moving away to college, Chloe hopes for a new start, though the guilt eating away at her every single day doesn’t allow it, and she finds herself spiraling out of control and fast. It doesn’t help with Jake and his constant advances. Just when Chloe thought that her life couldn’t get any worse, tragedy strikes again. And who is there to save her when she reaches the pits of hell? Jake Peterson, the guy who caused it all in the first place. 

Jake does everything he can to win back the only girl he’s ever loved after losing her when he made the biggest mistake of his life. Watching Chloe deteriorate before his very eyes, he vows to make her smile again if it’s the last thing he does. 

Just when you think that everything is going great, fate steps in, ruining all that is good. 

Will they be able to get over their past and the guilt that follows them around in order to find happiness with each other, or will it destroy them both? 

**Freedom is the second book in The Mended Heart series and it’s recommended that you read book one first as Freedom contains spoilers** 

This book contains sex, alcohol and drugs.

My Review

Although Chloe is portrayed as the girl with huge problems that got hurt by the big bad boy, Jake, I found her love interest easier to like than her. She had a loving family and great friends, yet she decided for some mysterious reason that they would not help her when she needed them because they’d be too angry. Before that, she dated a known player-type just because she had a thing for her all her life. They were never officially together, had unprotected sex, and when she unsurprisingly got pregnant, she somehow did not expect his first reaction to be utter fear and him encouraging her to have an abortion. I should say she was barely 18 at the time, right before going to collage the next year.

Of course everyone hates Jake and he’s the only one responsible for the lack of protection during sex, because girls are not allowed to buy condoms, get on the pill, or generally have any clue about how to avoid a pregnancy. Although her abortion further defines her life and throws her into a huge depression, she takes a few days to decide she’s on her own, no one can or will help, and she needs to get rid of the baby.

When the story in the book begins, it’s been a little under a year since the abortion, Chloe and Jake are sort of enemies, and she is drinking heavily and high on cocaine most of the time. Chloe can’t really own up to anything, especially her feeling for Jake, which just pushes her to hurt her current boyfriend who is also Jake’s best friend… Also, her definition of hot and cold is a bit off. It basically means Jake is trying to get to her, and when he reacts to her passive aggressive comments and insults by shutting a door in her face, he’s suddenly cold to her.

In all honesty, Beth Maria did  a great job at portraying the typical teenagers who are acting their age, or even younger. At times it felt they could not be older than 16 or 17, although they were. It’s not the perfect character that deals with everything, or the boy that acts like he’s 5 to 10 years older than his real age. Even if Chloe and sometimes Jake pissed me off throughout the book, it was a good story. Books are supposed to generate powerful emotions, and the author did achieve that in my case.

What took from the experience for me were the small inconsistencies, where Chloe first says she had not taken any drugs from point X (can’t say which because it’s a spoiler), then says she actually did have a bit of cocaine to help her through. Either way, throughout this whole experience, the girl does not seem to go through withdrawal at all. The second one was the lack of build up to her major depressive moment. Chloe goes from happily going on dates with Jake to hitting the bottom. Why the trigger is evident, it’s impossible for her not to have a real buildup, which is quickly resolved by a quick mention of Jake’s on her behavior. The third was the whole bit from Maisie’s point of view. I like multiple points of view in a book, and switching between Jake and Chloe was fun, but Maisie’s bit could have been skipped. All she does is tell the same thing to her boyfriend and debate the issue with him, with no conclusion. Despite all that, Freedom was an enjoyable read and had a very good story to tell.


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