Published July 2015
Series: Unexpected #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dramatic Romance
Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.
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As a rule, men don’t grow up believing in a happily ever after. We don’t believe in meeting the love of our lives; or the white picket fence, and 2.5 children. Every man thinks that those stupid dreams or fantasies are just nonexistent shit until it happens to them. We should have been forewarned.
I wish I was prepared for someone to appear in my life and change all my priorities. I suddenly wanted that fence and children. The part of meeting the love of my life became very real, but I wasn’t ready for suddenly losing it all, and my life plummeting into this shithole forever.
The heartbreak of losing your soulmate is one of the worst pains you will ever live with. I should campaign and warn the young people. Vaccinate against love because if you lose it, you could lose yourself for the rest of your life. The burden on your back will forever mark you and wither away your soul, darkening your days and the rest of your natural life.
This isn’t false advertisement or a dramatic display of one bitter soul.
I fought by my mother's side until her last breath, and tried to help my father until his last memories dissipated. My sister is the last one standing, but her life is a miracle that can end at any given moment. All my life I’ve never been alone, but always felt lonely.
Today, my options on how to live my life are endless, yet my heart and my best friend limit them. Stay in Seattle, close to the one person that will never let me inside his world.
The thug, as mom would've called him. A man with a bad boy attitude and a heart bigger than the ocean.
When Pria Walker and Jacob Colthurst-Decker meet in college, the chemistry between the two of them is undeniable and it’s like they’re meant to be. They share a wonderful romantic week together, enjoy themselves and focus solely on the here and now. In other words, they allow themselves to forget, just for once, all the obligations and burdens that they have to face. And unfortunately, the wake-up call comes earlier than expected, forcing Pria to leave college to return to her family.
Due to unexpected circumstances, Jacob and Pria don’t meet again until several years later, when time changed both of them and their dreams of a future together and what they thought was meant to be are long gone and forgotten… But somewhere, the lingering feeling of belonging is still apparent between them.
What I loved about this book:
- The very real characters
- The roller-coaster like storyline: couldn’t put this book down!
- The colourful side-characters
What I felt needed improvement:
- The cover of the book is not accurate
- Maybe less focus on the side-characters?
I received Uncharted as an ARC from Netgalley, and while I had read Claudia Burgoa books before, this was my first book in the Unexpected series – and it was #3. I don’t know whether it was a bad thing not having read the previous books in the series, but it wasn’t something that bothered me or kept me from really understanding the main story – so that’s a plus.
However, a lot of passages in Uncharted referenced to stories and characters from the earlier books in the series, and sometimes that messed with my head. I did not know whether or not to focus on these details and it turns out most of them were not really relevant to the main story, but might be of interest if you are looking at reading the next books in the series.
To be honest, I started this read with a bad feeling – as in: either this could go terribly wrong, or end up to be the greatest thing ever. And I was actually a bit put-off by the cheesy beginning. Jacob had a bad case of insta-love when he saw Pria for the first time and really gave way to his inner cheesy romantic. And the stuff he says are no creepy pick-up lines he uses to get into her pants: no, he actually means it!
“It’s written in the stars. You and I are it. Destined to be together – forever.”
“You mean more to me than words can speak, more than the notes in my guitar can express, and more than what the sun is to Earth.”
After Pria and Jacob’s magical days spent together, the whole story turn into a total mess: a mess of emotions, and a mess of events – one bad event succeeding another. Pria has to go back to her family to care for her sister, and Jacob loses her phone number. By trying to find Pria, Jacob got badly injured, and took the life of two people in a road accident. He has a hard time dealing with all the guilt that’s on hist chest, and still mourns the loss of Pria. And in his desperation, he gets attached to someone else who, unfortunately isn’t about to stop his suffering.
“This shouldn’t be me. I’m a guy. Why do I give a shit about a girl who I barely know and who didn’t wait for me?”
And in the meantime, Pria is going through difficult phases of her own. Her fiancé dumped her the day of her mother’s funeral, her father’s condition is getting worse, and her sister still has a fatal disease that constantly needs looking after…
When Pria and Jacob meet several years later, they feel completely changed and don’t recognise each other anymore as they both have been through a lot. The romantic guy turned into some hardened despicable manwhoring version of himself, and smiling but demure Pria has become a closed-off and shattered shell of herself. I found it very difficult to witness this transformation as a reader. I especially mourned Jacob and hated what he had become: careless, reckless and making alcohol his best friend to avoid the suicidal thoughts.
“I’ve had to hunt him down and take him away before he makes a scene in a public place three different times now. I’ve picked him up from random bars five other times.”
Still, I really loved the characters because they felt human and real, especially in their actions and weaknesses/flaws. I loved how strong Pria was despite all the pain she felt, and I was amazed at what a loving and devoted character Jacob was, even if his loyalty might have been misplaced at times. I also very much enjoyed the fact that the booked allowed the reader to witness their evolution through time – even though it was a painful evolution which certainly took its toll and its time.
Needless to say, even after all those years and all those changes, there’s still some kind of spark hidden between the two. But for personal reasons, both are intent on fighting it, which makes the story extremely interesting. Yet, they succeed only in fighting off the emotions, and still give in to the physical.
“I’m only offering sex, Pria. That kid you hung out with died years ago. There’s a catch if we do this. No promises, no expectations, no overnight stays, and no tender words.”
The whole book was absolutely heartbreaking, gut-wrenching and full of angst. There are a lot of negative and depressing things happening, and a lot of them stem from a bad case of “wrong place, wrong time”. Don’t expect Uncharted to be some kind of rosy read: it is heavy and will not leave you unaffected. That’s not a bad thing though, and only goes to show that this read and the writing is full of emotion. This story is also a very good dissertation on guilt and on (sometimes misplaced) sense of loyalty and/or responsibility. Still, some parts in this book were funny and endearing – thank god, because the main characters deserve some lightheartedness.
I was totally hooked and wanted to know what life had in store for the two of them, so I couldn’t put the read down. It was addictive. So many things happen that change the course of the story that there is really not one dull moment: up until the end. Uncharted really goes to show that even if things are destined to be, it doesn’t always come the easy way, and that you have to deal with a whole lot of unexpected stuff.
Now as you can tell, I really loved this book, and I recommend you give it a try if you love rollercoaster angsty rides just as much as I do! I am not entirely sure I will give all the other books in the series a go, but I sure did like the sidecharacters, and wouldn’t be opposed to reading about AJ’s story!
By the way, there’s something I’d like to critize – which I rarely do – and it’s the cover of the book. I would assume that this represents Jacob, and it if does, then that guy on the cover bears no resemblance to the Jacob described in Uncharted, who is blonde with shoulder length-hair… Major goof which should be corrected, IMHO!
|All the feels|