Review: Juilliard or Else by Nichele Reese

 Julliard or Else goodreads-badge-add-38px[1][1]Synopsis:

This is a twisting story of young love torn in two.

Abigail McCall has been accepted into Juilliard for Ballet. Being nineteen, she’s ready to move out of her tight shell at her parent’s house and in with her new roommates. Abigail finds herself distracted with things she never saw herself doing.

‘Hey, I’m Tucker.
That’s all it took. His own name rolling off his tongue.’

With no job and coming from a broken home with a mother who doesn’t care what happens to him, could you blame Tucker for being so secretive? The dark and mysterious Tucker has his sights set on the prim and proper ballerina. So he knows he has to change his self destructive ways in order to keep Abigail in his life. Which means, betraying his closest friends.

Obstacles are thrown at them.
They don’t approve of the ballerina and the poor boy.

The world won’t let Abigail and Tucker be together. What do they have to sacrifice to stay together…

Can the good come out in the bad? Or does someone always end up hurt and alone?

Tucker has nothing, but Abigail has everything to lose…

New Adult Novel. Contains adult situations, sexuality, some violence, and is suited for ages 18 and up.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 3½/5 stars

My Review:

For the vast majority of her life Abigail McCall has been less than perfect in the eyes of her mother. Though she is well-educated, has impeccable manners and breeding and, is Juilliard bound, Abigail is still not good enough for her mother. The only two times Abigail feels truly free and good enough is when she is intentionally throwing up or dancing. Juilliard is all Abigail has ever wanted and with her acceptance to the prestigious school and the chance to move out of her parent’s house, life couldn’t be better.

Rachel and Jade, friends since forever, fellow Juilliard students and, Abigail’s new roommates are more than Abigail could have ever imagined. Rachel is bubbly and bright, highly protective of Jade and, devoted to her acting studies. Jade is dark but funny, sad but brilliant and, devoted to her cello and other artistic pursuits. Though Abigail’s parents technically own the multimillion dollar apartment the girls are living in, all three are from wealthy families and instantly understand one another and the pressures they each face from their respective families. Juilliard won’t be easy for any of the girls but with each other, they just may get through it.

Tucker’s life is far, far removed from the wealth and privilege enjoyed by Abigail and her roommates but he is drawn to Abigail and her wealth and privilege have nothing to do with the attraction. Tucker’s life sucks and though he has little hope of turning things around he is fighting to do so. Abigail’s presence in his life is both a complication and a miracle and though there is only a very small chance the two will make it, he is willing to hold on to the hope that they will, in fact, make. For Abigail, Tucker is a revelation and though he often disappears for days or weeks on end and won’t tell her why, she isn’t willing to give up on him. Their connection is fast and furiously intense and though the two know they want to be together they are constantly facing one obstacle or another.

Though she is constantly on edge, constantly crying and, constantly struggling to make her way in the world, Abigail is still standing. One of her finest qualities is her resilience and her insistence on making her own way (sort of, daddy does still pay for everything) where her emotions and romantic attachments are concerned. Abigail is determined to have her way no matter who she has to stand up too and what consequences her determination may bring. Though Tucker wants nothing more than to bring Abigail happiness, he is not always as strong as she is, though, when push comes to shove, he will move heaven and earth to come through for her.

The Bottom Line: I was instantly attracted to this read because of the gorgeous and gritty cover. I love a good ballerina story and when you throw in a damaged, hot boy trying to make more of himself than he is, well, I’m all in until the end. Though I got through this read quickly, it wasn’t necessarily an easy read and would have benefitted from one more pass through by a good editor. Additionally, there is a lot of angst and crying in this read. With that being said, I didn’t give up on Abigail and Tucker and though I wanted to choke the life out of both of them a time or two, I was glad to see them stick together and overcome every single obstacle they faced. If you are a fan of angsty reads and wealthy girl meets boy from the wrong side of the tracks then Juilliard or Else may just be the read for you.

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2 Comments on “Review: Juilliard or Else by Nichele Reese

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