SHE LAUGHS IN PINK
By Jessica Calla
This book is everything I think the New Adult genre should be. Jessica Calla’s She Laughs in Pink is a perfect snapshot into the lives of 18- and 19-year olds and everything that a person is thinking and feeling at that point in their lives. It has it all: friendship, love, family-and because it’s fiction-suspense and drama. I loved it. I wish I’d had it to read when I was 18 years old because I’m betting I would have read it and re-read it until the pages literally fell apart.
Honestly, I think She Laughs in Pink is a multi-genre book. It’s definitely a NA romance. It could also be labeled Women’s Fiction, except it’s as much Men’s Fiction as it is Women’s (if we’re putting labels on things). It’s a coming of age story and a finding yourself story and a sizzling romance that starts in a train station which I think makes it a tad bit classical, because, They. Meet. In. A. Train. Station.
“It’s just that you look like a lost starlet. I’d hate for you to take the wrong train and end up another overdosing porn tragedy because I didn’t stop and offer my services. I mean, your map is upside down.”
Okay, probably not words from a classical novel, but they are the words that made me fall in love with Chase Cooper, despite his being young enough to be my son. He’s charming with a sense of humor and according to Juliet Anderson he has:
“…thick black hair, a deep sexy voice, and kissable lips.”
Where was he when I went to college? Though they meet at the train station, Chase and Juliet are surprised to find themselves living down the hall from each other in Sheridan Hall, a dorm at the fictional New Jersey University. Oh, and Chase is roommates with the love of Juliet’s life, Ben. Not exactly a great setup for romance.
I loved Chase and Juliet. Their journey, both apart and together, is such a great story. Chase is a native New Yorker who has seen his fair share of trouble and escapes to NJU to start over. Juliet is living half a life ever since the death of her identical twin and Ben is her security blanket. She’s determined to prove to him they belong together, but meeting Chase puts a definite crimp in that plan, especially when she finds it impossible to stay away from him. Chase fights his desire to be with Juliet (women are not part of his New Life Plan) but quickly realizes that his plan may have led him towards Juliet all along.
When the book started I thought we had a case of boy meets girl, boy romances girl, love triangle, happily ever after. I thought that Ben would be the biggest obstacle to Chase and Juliet’s romance. But how wonderful (and I mean this in the best possible way) that it is Chase and Juliet who are the biggest hurdles in their romance. Character development runs rampant in She Laughs in Pink, both main characters having to dig deep to learn to love themselves before they can truly love each other. Both are multi-layered, both have to overcome tragedy in their young lives, and both have to face their past before moving on.
She Laughs in Pink isn’t all romance. Friendships play a huge role in this story. Chase and Juliet find themselves living in the basement of Sheridan Hall, just six rooms and 12 people. Calla introduces us to an eclectic group of young people who easily represent the young adults of today: the nerds, the potheads, the preppy coffee drinkers, the athlete, the fitness buffs, the artist, the dancer, and the spiritual one. This group of friends develops quickly, just like college friendships tend to, and the dynamics within the group are familiar and delightful. Each plays a role in the telling of the story, especially as it races to its conclusion. I loved this group of college freshmen and can’t wait for the continuation of their stories in the rest of Calla’s Sheridan Hall series (She Laughs in Pink is #1).
I can’t say enough good things about She Laughs in Pink, heck, I have no doubt I’ll think of a hundred more points I wish I’d made after I publish this. This story, I believe, will resonate with readers, whether you’re in college or watching your children go off to college. 5 Stars for She Laughs in Pink. Heat level: 3.5
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for honest feedback.
She Laughs in Pink is book one of the Sheridan Hall series by Jessica Calla and was published in May 2016 by BookFish Books
Click on the cover photo for info on making She Laughs in Pink part of your reading library.