Fast (Fast, #1)-Ryan Ringbloom
Mature Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary
*** I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author
Senior Year in high school goes by fast. Young hearts fall in love and mistakes are made…by everyone.
Sometimes everyone is guilty of going a little too FAST!
Fast is told from the varying perspectives of four teenagers-Robin, Ashley, Patrick, and Kent. The majority of the book alternates between Ashley and Robin, two girls that couldn’t be more different. Robin is a nerdy, shy girl who plays the violin and is hopelessly in love with her best guy friend, Kent. Ashley is a popular girl with unlimited funds, a bitchy posse, cutting attitude, and a promiscuous reputation. Ashley has always been fast, thinking that the only way to make a man stay is to sleep with him. After a particularly degrading experience hooking up with a guy she can’t stand and a betrayal by her so-called best friend, Ashley decides to reevaluate her life and ultimately makes up her mind to overhaul her mindset, ditch her friends, and slow things down. Robin has pined over Kent for most of her childhood but had never had the courage to tell him how she feels, too scared of screwing things up or facing rejection. When queen bee Ashley takes an interest in her BFF out of the blue, Robin is forced to grow some confidence and tell Kent how she feels before she’s replaced by this complete stranger.
As Ashley and Kent form a pseudo-friendship, Ashley becomes enmeshed in Kent’s comfy household, hanging out with his younger brothers. From the moment they meet Ashley and Patrick are at each other’s throats. But as Kent disappears more and more often when Ashley is over, Patrick and her are thrown together and a weird attraction starts to brew.
Will Ashley stick to her newfound good girl image? Will Robin ever get the nerve to tell Kent how she feels? Will Kent and Patrick figure out their emotions? Or will moving too fast jeopardize all of their relationships?
Fast is a realistic contemporary that is not made of unrealistic expectations or perfect love, it’s honest and brutal and yeah, there’s a lot of pain, poor choices, and stupid mistakes. What makes this romance different is that a happy ending is not expected or necessary, in fact, it confirms that sometimes couples are better off without a happily ever after.
- Patrick and Ashley are wonderful together. There’s a tantalizing love/hate attraction that builds into angst and genuine love. It’s sweet, it’s playful, and will keep you guessing, holding out to the hope that Ashley will finally find true love.
- Patrick and Ashley’s story from childhood is that heartwarming, cute, and exhilarating meeting that turns out to leave a life-changing impression. Patrick is a complete romantic and an genuinely great guy. He is thoughtful and compassionate, he doesn’t care about past mistakes or faults, he’s understanding and views things from multiple angles. Although Patrick has a quick temper and over reacts when it comes to his feelings, he has a giant heart and will forgive and forget when he has faith in someone.
- Patrick’s relationship with his brother is adorable. He sacrifices his own social life for his family and cherishes his surprise brother so much after a surprising reality check from his childhood.
- Ashley has a messed up life. Emotionally scarred, psychologically manipulated, she views her relationship to men as purely sexual in order to get something more. Her mother has coached her into the vileness of men and all she wants is for someone to want her for her and to stick around long enough to appreciate her. It’s heartbreaking and terrible how torn up inside she is and what makes it all the more harrowing is how many girls have this same mentality. Ashley is so much more than this wounded girl, she’s a fighter and when she decides to make a change, she’s all in. Ashley comes from a broken home and when she finds a good guy, even if she’s not attracted to him, she’s willing to settle. Ashley grows so much as the story evolves and no she’s not perfect, she self destructs and makes bad choices but she lives and learns and above all else, she loves.
- Initially, I despised both Robin and Ashley, they’re exactly the sort of girls that grate on my nerves and to be honest, make me irrationally angry. Ashley has been scarred into the mentality that men will only stick around if you please them sexually and Robin is too timid to have an opinion. For me, it was a little hard to get past how much I wanted to slap some sense into these girls and really focus on their character growth. However, then I started to think, maybe the reason these girls irritated me so much is because I know so many like them and this is where I’d like to praise Ryan Ringbloom because she chose to portray girls that were real, who were not confident or strong but had issues to overcome.
- Some of the sex scenes were too often and too much, they took away from the plot and while it did emphasize just how fast the relationship progressed intimately, it got boring quickly. Kent and Robin’s relationship was predictable and stagnant and I found myself yearning for more of Ashley and Patrick.
- Robin and Kent were lacking in overall personality quirks and descriptions other than the fact that they’re in orchestra, Kent was pretty much a mystery and Robin’s timid behavior triumphed over her other qualities.
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