I have to admit, I was seriously skeptical about this book. It was one of the ones I just requested on NetGalley out of sheer boredom. Based off of the cover alone, I figured it would be plot-less and pointless. However, when I was approved, I figured “why not?” I’ve been in a bit of a slump reading-wise, so I figured at worst I just wouldn’t finish, leave my review on NetGalley and Goodreads, and be done with it. What I did not anticipate was to spend 2 hours completely devouring this book from beginning to end. It is one of those “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” moments. Hell, don’t even judge it from the blurb/synopsis. Just read the book, you won’t be sorry. Well, you might be a little sorry when your roommate finds you teary-eyed over a book that has a shirtless guy on the front of it, and you have to spend 10 minutes trying to explain, “IT’S SO SAD AND TOUCHING! YOU CAN’T JUDGE THE COVER.”
Since Drew by J. Nathan is the story of Andi Parker, an Olympic hopeful, and Drew Slater, and NFL potential top draft pick. Andi’s dream of running in the Olympics is shattered when she is hit by a car when running late at night. In the hospital she meets Drew, a cocky yet loveable football player who is also a patient, though it is not immediately realized why. I really loved the chemistry between these two characters. There was easy banter, and a playfulness that seemed unique to these two.
However, the first plot twist of the book throws the story into a complete 180. While I won’t reveal exactly what happened, the change you see in Drew is crucial to why I love his character and the book so much, so I feel obligated to note it. This plot twists completely shifts the tone and focus of the book. Before, it was Andi’s story. She was the one with the crushed dreams and feelings of helplessness. However, this plot twist shifts the focus to Drew; he becomes the mysterious character, a seemingly impenetrable wall. To be honest, he becomes a bit of an asshole (okay, he becomes a complete asshole), but I actually think I like “second” Drew better. While I liked easy-going, joking Drew at the beginning of the book, it was too simple and easy. He didn’t seem like a complex character, and he definitely didn’t hold enough complexity to be a main love interest. He was your stereotypical jock who falls for the pretty girl, end of story. He was almost too good to be true. In fact, the only story line at that point seemed to be her broken dreams, and I was doubtful that that storyline alone could carry through a 200-page book. “Second” Drew, however, was multi-faceted. He was bluntly honest, but in a refreshing way. He was very real. He wasn’t perfect, he made huge mistakes, and he had demons, like everyone. It was that realness and imperfection that is ultimately what drew me into the character (no pun intended).
Andi, on the other hand, never really experiences a character shift quite like Drew, but I liked her character the way she was. She was funny, but tough and determined to let nothing stop her. She was slightly annoying at times, but hey, when has there ever been a female character (or male) that isn’t?
You know those stories that seem to have plot twists when you least expect them? They come out of nowhere and literally just punch you in the face (I’m looking at you Colleen Hoover). This book was full of them, and they were so artfully placed it felt like I was reading a Colleen Hoover story. Seriously, if those two authors ever got together, that book would simultaneously give you whiplash and heartbreak. I won’t reveal the other two major plot twist, but WOW they were unexpected. Completely and utterly blindsided me.
I would give this book a 5/5. In the end, it was the little things that really made it for me. There was some UNC vs. Duke elements, which are especially funny to me considering my university is a part of the ACC, and I’ve witnessed the rivalry between these two schools first-hand. Then there was their easy banter. That’s something I think is really important in a relationship, which I guess is why it really stood out to me. Then there were those one or two lines that really just rip your heart out and put it in a wood chipper. I think when an author has that kind of power over emotion simply through words you’ve got an author with real talent. So props to J. Nathan, I will definitely be reading any other books by her. Since Drew is available for pre-order and will be released on April 23, so be sure to pick up a copy!
And props to the guy on the cover, he is ripped as hell. Seriously, that’s some hard core dedication and photoshop right there.