Thursday, August 8, 2013

Everything Changes by Shey Stahl

Everything Changes by Shey Stahl 4 STARS

Everything ChangesSynopsis: I knew a boy once.
He was a boy that changed everything.
I didn't know Parker O’Neil outside of the occasional smile and wink. The AMA Supercross racer came to our small town one winter, and I had no idea what he was capable of. How could I have known that he would change my life forever that summer? Eventually, the occasional smile became a smile I grew to love and longed to see. The occasional wink became a gesture that made my soul sway and my heart ache. In the canyons of the desert, he showed me his lifestyle and his love.
What I didn't see was the control he had over me. It was a power the glitz and glamour of his professional lifestyle had and eventually what tore apart any life I thought I knew. In his world of banging bars and soaring jumps, there was no room for someone like me. But for five years, every time he called or touched me, everything changed again. It was a touch that could heal anything and a smile that could light even the darkest nights.
Everything Changes by Shey Stahl
I cant quite decide how I feel about this book. I went through a range of emotions during the novel. I laughed, I cried, I screamed (internally) I was frustrated and annoyed, but empathetic and understanding. Im not sure a rating is appropriate on this one. At times, I hated the book (rightfully so for my roller-coaster emotions!) and other times I was utterly in love :-) Shey Stahl did a great job of creating such an emotionally raw, and genuine novel of falling in love and finding yourself at a young age. I loved that this story felt real, there were so many moments throughout the book, that any person could relate to, and moments that felt like they could have happened in my own life. it was incredible. But it wasnt without its faults. For me and my style. Much of the book felt negative, and sad. The story was told over the course of 5 years starting in 1997 through 2009. (focusing on the 1997 time frame) the first half of the book I spent falling in love with the story, but the 2nd half of the book I spend my time trying to figure out why the author built the love story only to literally tear me apart. Young love was sweetly written and beautifully described, but the constant lack of communication got to me, and I was irritated that no one was willing to be brave and speak up. I was pleasantly surprised though with the way the author turned things around for the characters. 

My pick for "Parker O'Neal in Everything Changes   BY Shey StahlCover: Attractive and interesting
Rating: PG-13 with sexual content
Overall: Pretty good 
Characters:  Addy, Justin, Rick, Parker, and Rowan
Page Turner: At times
Series Cont.? No
Recommend if You Like...Crush; Waiting for You;  (coming of age love stories)
Book Boyfriend: Parker
Genre: New Adult 
Sex Scenes: Yes
Setting Northwest Region

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Plot--The story line is completely relatable. Not in the way some might think, not many of us know people who get famous after highschool and stay in touch with this love they had. BUT most people can relate to young love, first love, and the possible heartbreak, the definite confusion and the intense emotional toll it takes on a girl (and probably a guy) For Rowan and Parker, they share a number of firsts together, but most importantly they share their first love, and the heartache that follows this couple is something I could completely FEEL. The truth is at 17, heartache comes easily, we're naive, everything is unknown and new, and reading Rowan and Parkers story felt real, as though I could relive my own first love. As usual things change. Such is life. Hope and Love keep us going, and certainly in the book thats what kept Rowan going and likely Parker. Hope that things could wok out, and love, the strongest emotion that helps us hold onto the hope through our fears. I was amazed at the authors ability to weave such strong emotions through such raw, genuine and sincere reactions, and plot lines. (ie going to different colleges) I was right there holding my breath with Rowan as she waited for Parker to call, and crying with her when she left him each time. Thats what made this book amazing. Not just the plot or the characters, but the authors ability to string everything together so much so that I feel as one with the main character. I could relate to that shy mentality, that idea of not really wanting to know, yet wanting to know without asking, hoping that the answer was what you wanted to hear, but fearful that it might not be....

Thankfully here is there is a HEA too because everyone wants that in their own personal love story. 

googleRowan- I could relate to Rowan in her frequent emotional states and immense love and passion for Parker, her first love. Its hard to let go of the one who first stole your heart. I was only bothered in the beginning of the book, when they first started hanging out, I was slightly confused. But once I got the vibe, I fell hard just like Parker and Rowan. Experiencing their love story first hand, felt as though I was with them, as a fly on the wall. Their intimate moments felt raw, completely genuine and on point for the 17 year old they were, and as their relationship developed and their feelings evolved so did everything else about their (except maybe their communication). Rowan's outlook felt normal, her reactions were typical of that age, and it was infuriating yet completely understandable. I could completely see her reasoning, no matter how irrational. I knew why she wanted stability, I knew why she couldnt say no and that longing feeling that she felt for Parker every moment. It was the emotional side of Rowan that made me fall in love with Sheys novel. And while as an adult I am mad at their lack of communication skills, I got it. As a shy girl in love, no one wants rejection and its easier to be blind than to face things head on. But the changes that Rowan went through over time, her strength and honesty eventually won out and that was also something for her to be proud of but that I could clearly see. 

Derek Theler
Parker- Wow. What do you say about Parker O'Neal. He is bat shit crazy sometimes, but quite the lover. In more ways than one Im sure. Parker is a lover and a fighter, even when he arrived to the fight late, he never gave up. I think thats true in more than one scenario for this character and book. I felt bad for Rowan because it was so hard on her, but when she visited it was easy to see why it was hard on him to make time. I only wish he would have communicated to her his wants and needs more and in a better way. His emotional wants and needs and his physical desires sometimes got in the way of what a womans emotional needs really are. I was frustrated with him and Rowan though for their inability to just say what they wanted and needed, but overall  I liked Parker, he was sweet and genuinely loving of Rowan, all around he was the guy that defends his girl to the end and loves without knowing there could even be a end. He was always supportive and understanding, and reading him grow into a man was the best part of the novel, seeing him go from teenager to man in love with Rowan was really fun and beautiful.

Riley Smith
Addy and Justin--I loved this couple. It was nice to provide the constant for Rowan, I think this was really the stability in her life (not Sean) and it was obvious that Addy cared deeply for Rowan as more than a friend. I only wish that Addy would have been more honest and open with Rowan and pulled Rowan out of her depression. It was hard to read Rowans sadness, because I felt that Addy could have stepped up more. But at that age, its different, you dont know how to respond or behave or help, and in that I could understand the reactions and lack thereof at times. But when it mattered Addy always said what needed to be said and didnt hold back. Justin was a great wingman to this story and I appreciated that there was a good guy through and through with the brothers. (I would take either one!)

Kirsten Prout as Addy
Rick and Sean- I loved Rick, as a parent, I couldnt quite understand how he was always so understanding and willing to accept Rowans behavior, but I can see how in his position he felt that he needed to do what he could to keep her connected and I appreciated that. 
Sean- I felt so bad for this kid (ok hes not a kid) but it was very saddening to see Rowan settle, not that I can blame her. I can relate to that feeling of needing stability after a whirlwind relationship. 

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