SLick by Kristi Pelton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Slick is the New Adult romance of Tessa and Bodhi. They meet during Tessa’s summer of freedom as she’s managed to escape from under her uninvolved, yet overbearing, father’s thumb. Sweet and innocent, Tessa is inexperienced in every way. She meets the older, more worldly Bodhi through a fairly contrived set of circumstances and their attraction is instantaneous. Reminiscent in many ways of Beautiful Disaster, Tessa and Bodhi embark on a fairly typical teenage romance, filled with passion, misunderstandings, drama, and lots of sex.
Honestly, I found Slick to be a complete conundrum. Structurally, the book is ridden with many mistakes that would have been caught with some attentive editing. There’s no way I’d allow Tessa and Bodhi’s group of friends within fifty feet of my daughter. Drugs, sex, and alcohol aside, the sexist attitude of the young men was slap worthy each time they discussed who had called “dibs” first on the new girl. Yet, (CONUNDRUM!) these same boys/guys/young men were devoted friends and quick to protect each other and the girls in their lives.
Pelton introduces the reader to quite a few secondary characters, but the standouts are Bodhi’s best friend, Ty, and Tessa’s cousin, Elle. Both likable and fleshed out just enough to establish a connection, especially Elle. But, of course, this is Tessa and Bodhi’s story. Star crossed lovers, (she’s the rich girl, he plays in a band and has a scandalous past), they fall for each other quickly as we see so often in the NA genre, but do so in a believable way because their young and everything is heightened when you’re seventeen. Or, as in Bodhi’s case, you’re twenty-one and desperate to find someone who’ll love you unconditionally. Both are running from painful experiences and they run right to each other. I admit, I like them together. Bodhi, when not being a jerk, is very romantic. The dual, first person POV is challenging for any author, but Pelton handles it fairly well as there’s a clear distinction between Tessa’s and Bodhi’s voices.
My problem (and reason for just 3 stars) is the quality of the book. The bones are there: strong characters, good NA plotline, a dose or two of originality, potential for strong friendships and secondary characters…but the author doesn’t seem to try hard enough to piece it all together. At times the characters are all over the place. The pacing is choppy, at best. The narrative was confusing quite often as there seemed to be little to no explanation for what was happening almost as if the writer’s words were way ahead of the story leaving the reader in the dust.
I read Slick through my subscription the Kindle Unlimited program which allows me the opportunity to give new authors a try without risk. I admit, I’m not sure if this is Pelton’s first novel, but it is the first I’ve read by her and I’m glad I had a chance to try her out.