Tuesday, May 28, 2013

review - Callum & Harper

Callum & Harper Cover Image

Three Stars
Callum & Harper
by: Fisher Amelie | Website | Twitter

Publication Date: December 24, 2011
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: The Sleepless Series #1
Format: eBook
Page Count: 256
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Get your copy: Amazon | B&N

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Summary: Life sucks for orphans Callum Tate and Harper Bailey.

Kicked out of their foster homes because they suffer the 'eighteen disease' with nothing but a hundred dollar check from the government and a pat on the back, they're forced to rely on a system that failed them miserably.

So they sit. They sit inside Social Services, waiting for their social workers to call their names and offer them the miracle they know will never come but they sit anyway because they have nowhere else to go, no other options on their very literal and figurative empty plates.

But as they sit, they notice the other. Although captivated, they each come to the conclusion that life is complicated enough without throwing in a boiling tension that can't ever be acted upon because they're both too busy thinking about where their next meal will come from but when their names are called and both are placed on a year long waiting list for permanent housing, suddenly relying on each other seems like a very viable plan B.

And, oh, how lovely Plan B's can be.

Well, except for the psycho from Harper's past that haunts her and, oh, yeah, there's the little issue that neither of them knows they're in love with the other.

Needless to say, Callum & Harper's life just got a bit more complicated.

“One day, you and I are gonna’ wake up and be alright. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day. One day. I promise you.” - Callum Tate

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

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My Review
This story reminds me of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, thank you freshman business! Callum and Harper are trying to meet their basic needs of shelter and food. Once they feel comfortable with these, their hearts and minds were ready for safety they found in each others' presence. Belonging followed close behind for Harper, in that she was accepted by Callum's group of friends. Friends who really provided depth to the story, because they were a little older and more mature. This allowed Callum and Harper to lean on them and that support seem believable. They also saw the undeniable attraction between Callum and Harper, making them (and us) more willing to root for the young couple. And boy did these two have some obstacles to overcome.

Harper really had a split personality, on one hand she gets moved around to multiple foster families due to her clashing personality (and some extenuating circumstances). But at her core she is a not-so-street-smart, naive girl, almost to the point of being dangerous. The very calm, too calm, way she handles graduating out of the system, lacked the listlessness most would feel. I realize Callum provided a lot of support and comfort, but I know I would have had at one emotional breakdown or moment of feeling utterly alone.

For being these children of the foster care system and seeing a lot more than their most their age, Callum and Harper talk like they stepped out of a Leave it to Beaver episode. I found myself adding my own dialogue of "Gee wiz!" and "Golly!" It just did not fit with the story and the characters' backgrounds. I also felt that there were some unreasonably contrived scenarios (Hello, full scholarship to NYU at the last minute???) But I let them go; suspend reality and all that.

As for the romance, talk about misunderstandings and failures to lay your emotions all on the line. I just wanted to shake these two; someone really needed to buck up some courage and show their cards. They came so close, so many times. There's a rooftop scene where I thought, this has to be it, but no! In the end, Callum and Harper really were perfect for each other. Their relationship might have started out as one of convenience but became so much more, one filled with love and undying devotion to each other and how their unspoken love has only grown into something deeper that that first shared glance across an office waiting room.

Overall while the story did not blow me away, it was an enjoyable read that had its moments. The saving grace was plot after the time jump, where we get to see how Callum and Harper are living with their well-crafted lies. The threat of Harper's past life also added that extra drama, taking the plot to the next level. The final climatic scenes were heart-pounding and had serious consequences. Over looking the rocky start, I was enthralled by Callum and Harper's story of love and overcoming their painful pasts.

Did you read Callum & Harper? What did you think?

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