Thursday, December 8, 2016

Release Blitz & Review: Yours to Bare - Jessica Hawkins

Yours To Bare by Jessica Hawkins
Released: December 8, 2016

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]Finn

No matter how cruel it’s been in the past, I’ve never been able to flip fate the bird. I’m a romantic at heart. So when fate drops a leather-bound journal at my feet, I know I should walk away.   I don't. I pick her up, bend her spine, spread her pages. From the first word, I’m a goner. The owner didn’t give me access to her most intimate desires, but I devour them anyway. Her private darkness, her candid, explicit poetry—it all goes down like warm milk. And from that point forward, I drink, eat, and sleep her.


 I went to his apartment and let him take my picture. Just once, to see how it would feel. I’m not his to look at, to inspire, to touch, but when he watches me through his lens, it gives me a high I don’t want to come down from…   My journal is the one place I can be myself—as long as I can tie it up and put it away when I’m finished. But when Finn undoes the bow, he pulls strings that could unravel each of us.  

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4.5 Stars

 Yours to Bare is a standalone novel that follows Finn and Halston as they begin a love affair that quickly grows from lust to much more. I loved Finn in Slip of the Tongue, so I knew I had to read Yours to Bare. As a standalone it comes with all of the backstory, it truly isn't necessary to read Slip of the Tongue and I actually really liked that about Yours to Bare. Finn is different after having his heart broken, it's apparent that he is jaded after losing the woman he loved when she returned to her husband. He is still a romantic at heart though and the journal he picked up, though more explicit, speaks to him. I too was beyond intrigued by the journal, guessing who wrote it, who they would be, and how they'd respond to Finn. His obsession is immediate, his desperate want for a companion drawing him to seek out the women behind the words, Halston. Halston is a young woman, her individuality is something she never considered important until she separates herself from the mundane life she'd been previously satisfied with. Her poetry was a private escape for her, but meeting someone who accepts that secret part of her is a rush she never expected she'd find. Sharing their relationship, Finn's photos, and her words though draw out a new obsession, one Halston can't quit. 

It isn't just physical. It's the way she's let me in so deep, so fast. I've submerged myself in her, or she's done it for me.

I was overwhelmed by how quickly I related to both characters, the jaded lover Finn who believes in fate and the desperate for acceptance Halston who finds love, but also loss in her newfound self. My previous crush on Finn had nothing on this new Finn, I ached for him as he struggled with this new life of his that didn't pan out how he had hoped. Halston, on the other hand, spoke to me because her life felt like mine. The involvement of her father and partner, evaluating her every move, weighed her down as a character. Watching her come out of the fog was difficult, because at times I knew her choices wouldn't work how she had hoped, but it was also rewarding to see her mature and come into her own. Their chemistry together is off the charts, they are explosive and both feed off one another's emotions and off others as their relationship takes off in the social media world. They're sexy too, the scenes between these two light up the pages, but as a reader it is easy to see how some of their sexuality covered up the red flags they needed to discuss. 

In my sheets
In my head.

The social media aspect of the story was so interesting for me, especially when combined with two characters who suffer from different insecurities from different age groups. Being in Halston's head, especially as she was driven to be liked by everyone, was much like how people today are so attached to the likes and comments they receive on Instagram. Incorporating the @yourstobare instagram account into the marketing of Yours to Bare also connected the story that much more to reality.

I've been sleeping for the last year, and she's the only thing that's made me feel awake.

The tone of Yours to Bare is different and, while it's a subtle difference, I think readers will note the change. The angst, though there, is not as consuming as the original novel where we met Finn. He's more reserved and Halston brings back that all consuming feeling he had lost, for me it felt like a cycle and I worried I'd see his heart break again. I found myself frustrated with Finn at times, he's blinded by love to the point of ignoring how Halston is. Her addictive tendencies, at times out of control, were perfectly portrayed in this novel and came across very clearly. I just couldn't see how easily Finn let some of the warning signs slip by. However, I wanted to see them succeed and I think the trials they went through to get there were realistic. The ending, though it completes the story, just wasn't enough. I wanted more, I wanted their story to continue. Then again, I am sort of in love with Finn and I don't think I'll ever have enough.

"I want to be myself with you, Finn. I want to be allowed to want you this way."

Yours to Bare was an addictive read from Jessica Hawkins and I'll be recommending it to everyone for quite a while. I love a good romance, especially one with brilliant prose and a catching story line. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I want more, more Finn in particular. 
For more on Yours To Bare click here
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