Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book review: Tight Knit - by Allie Brennan

Question: do you like knitting and/or have a thing for bad boys with a secret sweet side hidden somewhere underneath the “tough guy” mask? If the answer is yes to one or both questions, then I think you’ll like Tight Knit.

Well, to be honest, I always loved reading about the “Prince Charming” kind of guys, you know the selfless, romantic, flawless, etc. etc. blah blah guys, while dreaming I’d find someone like them one day (guess what: I think I’m starting to realize they only exist in books…). I never really knew I could like bad guys until I read this book, and boy, didn’t I wish I was sixteen again and a guy like Lachlan walked into my Nan’s store? Okay, I know what you’re thinking: I’m too old for YA novels; that’s probably right. However, if I can say something in my defense, I never read YA when I was the right age for the genre (not sure YA even existed back then… :-) ); when I was a teenager my favourite author was Rosamunde Pilcher, who’s definitely not a YA writer, so I guess I have the right to make up for lost time now.

That being stated, let’s get back to the book. I discovered it on Goodreads, I think someone in my friends’ list had marked it as “to read” and I checked it out, out of curiosity and mainly because the cover looked cute. I read the synopsis and thought it sounded like a cool story – if you’ve read my other reviews, you already know that as long as there’s a love story in it, I’ll definitely give the book a chance. So I decided to download the excerpt from Amazon first, and see if I liked it. I started reading it and I was so intrigued by Lachlan that I definitely wanted to read more, so I bought the complete book. I guess you know what happened next: I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. I was lucky I read it while I was off work for Christmas break, as there’s no better time to read all night without worrying you’ll have to get up early to go to work!

Talia, the main female character, was really cute and I could almost see myself in her at times, the shy teenager who tries to be invisible and gets panic attacks for everything. While Lachlan, well…Lachlan was just super intriguing! Okay, I don’t like the dark spots in his past, the drugs and bad companies, I can’t deny that, but I felt for him, for his tough past, for the fact that people wouldn’t give him a second chance, that they wouldn’t think that deep down he might be a good boy after all. So he simply ended up acting the way people expected him to, and when Talia finally decided to start looking through the “tough guy” mask he was always wearing, his defenses crumbled. And while Talia helped him understand he could actually be a better person, Lachlan helped Talia get out of her shell and gain more self-confidence.

I think this is what makes it a great story: it’s not the usual “bad boy meets good girl and tries to take away her innocence”, or “good girl meets bad boy and tries to turn him into a saint”. It’s how love can turn lives upside-down, how it can change things, those things that we thought could never change because “that’s just how it goes”. It’s how having someone who believes in you, when the rest of the world doesn’t, can help you become a better person, the person that’s hidden somewhere underneath the pain, the dark times, the lack of confidence. It also shows how wrong first impressions can be, and how important it is to give someone a second chance to fix all the mistakes.

So, to summarize the story: Talia is living a bad moment - her beloved Nan gets sick and leaves her to stand in for her as the president of their knitting club, as well as to take care of the organization of the Charity Drive event, where they will have to sell their items. As if this wasn’t enough, she always gets bad panic attacks, and after she finds her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend, she loses her only friend, too.

Lachlan is the grandson of one of the women in the knitting club; he has a bad reputation among the people at school, and he’s trying to get back on his feet after being on two-year probation, but he still can’t leave his past behind and he sees no reasons why he should, since nobody thinks much of him anyway, apart from his grandmother, who’s the only one who knows what led him to that lifestyle.

Talia and Lachlan couldn’t be more different – yet, as their lives intertwine, and not exactly by chance, they realize that sometimes opposites are complementary.

Tight Knit is more than just another YA romance. It’s a story of forgiveness, of second chances, of the importance of real friends and of people who believe in us, no matter what.

So if you’re up for a sweet teenage romance, grab a copy and start knitting – oops, I meant reading!

PS guess what I did after finishing Tight Knit? I knitted a hat! :-)

Have you read “Tight Knit” already? Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

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