Sunday, September 9, 2012

Preservation by Rachael Wade

But this isn't a story about my coming of age or all the shit I went through growing up. It’s a love story about how I met Ryan. How he stole my running shoes and put reality in perspective for me. In the most infuriating, blindingly beautiful way possible, a way that only he could. And how I wrestled with his influence until the inevitable instilled me with a brand new kind of fear—regret.    

Preservation was an easy story to get into. Kate Parker is a college student living in Seattle who is trying to get by. She feels the constant pressures of life as she worries about paying for college, the threat of getting evicted from her apartment, and her sick mom that she takes care of.  Life is by no means easy for her, but she manages the best she knows how. She is focused and serious about what she wants and how she will go about it.  Kate wants to become a writer and get her work published.
The story starts with Kate being late for her creative writing class with her new professor Ryan Campbell. She is not only late, but soaking wet from the rain and carrying a ton of stuff with her. Her entrance disrupts the class which does not make the professor happy.

“Is this going to be a habit, Ms. Parker?” He propped himself against his desk and folded his arms again, glancing at me curiously as I stood at his side. “Because I’m very fond of punctuality, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s high on my list of priorities.” Good-looking, condescending bastard. “Yes, I’m very aware of that, Mr. Campbell.” I clenched my teeth and brushed wet strands of black hair behind my ear, deadpanning him. “Mondays are really tough for me. I don’t mean to cause a distraction.” “Well you do,” his eyes rolled over my shoulders, assessing the heavy bags draped over them. “You’re very distracting. Are you carrying your kitchen sink in those bags? If you’re living on campus and just trying to look like an overachiever, you should know that your charade is not endearing, nor is it going to drum up sympathy.” He ran his fingers through his golden brown hair and then straightened his tweed jacket out, brushing off the coat’s arms as he spoke. I gawked at him, equally mesmerized by his bright hazel eyes and boorish remark. “Excuse me?” My brow furrowed in confusion, bringing me back to planet Earth. “I’m sorry, how is what I carry in my bags any of your business?” “It’s called dry sarcasm, Ms. Parker. Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with it if you’re going to be taking my class.”  

As you can see things do not get off to a great start between these two. Even though Kate may think he is handsome, she doesn't have any immediate intention of hooking up with her teacher. Not to mention Ryan Campbell is known to be somewhat of a ladies man, especially with his students, and Kate doesn't need the addition trouble or heartache that could come attached with that.

Her two best friends Dean and Carter are super hilarious.  Dean and Carter have crushes on Kate, but she is not looking for a relationship at the moment and she does not want to ruin her friendships over it.

In all fairness, he was right. I knew I hung all over him, Carter, and the rest of the band. Hung over them like all of their groupies did, only without the slutty advances and come-hither eyes. Still, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I was so comfortable around them and I never felt like they were taking advantage of me. They treated me like one of the guys, like an equal. And that was something I wasn’t used to. Guys hit on me and girls ran their mouths behind my back. Things rarely ever deviated from that norm. Friends like Carter and his band mates didn't come along very often, and I was very aware of the fact. Still, that didn't change things. I didn't want to be involved with anyone. Not any time soon, anyway. -Rachael Wade, Preservation

As the story progresses Kate and Ryan keep running into each other and they start spending time together. At first Ryan warns Kate away, mainly because he is her teacher and he doesn't want to get involved with her unless she drops his classes, which she refuses to do.  They end up starting a relationship regardless. I should note that even though Ryan is her teacher, they are not very far off in age. Kate’s writing starts to inspire to Ryan and his writing. Both of their past relationships have not been very great, so they have reason to be cautious of where things are going, but Ryan isn’t that cautious.  I was surprised that even though Ryan had been hurt previously he was willing to try and be with Kate so quickly. Kate on the other hand…even though she was falling for Ryan, she still put up walls and did not want to invest everything into the relationship at the risk of being hurt. Without giving anything away, there was a situation between Ryan and Kate that I was more than surprised by. I did not even understand how it could happen. To this day I am still a bit confused by it, by maybe that is just me. But I was not sure how I felt about Ryan or his motives after it.

I really liked the story. It isn't your typical teacher/ student romance at all, and that is what I like about it. This book was a good quick read. Someone had mentioned that if I liked Beautiful Disaster I would love this book. I did like Preservation, but not as much as I liked Beautiful Disaster. I felt like the background of the characters could have been explained a bit more in the book. And even though Kate’s writing inspired Ryan to finish writing his own book, it would have been nice to actually find out why he did a complete 180 and changed his ways for Kate. Other than that I did like the characters and I was rooting for them to make it. If I were to rate this book, I would give it a 3 ½ out of 5 rating. 



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