Unspoken by Jen Frederick

There were aspects of this book that I really enjoyed. It went deeper than the average NA. I’ve read at least 10 books where the heroine was slut-shamed, but usually there’s little detail or else it’s completely over the top. Frederick found a balance to make AM’s experiences feel real. I also liked that there was a build-up to the physical aspect of their relationship. There may have been some Insta-lust upon first sight, but things developed at a non-terrifying speed.

AM is the target of college slut-shaming and bullying. Bo is a kind of badass ladies’ man. (There’s actual self-reflection about Bo’s sexual exploits. And no weird scenes with him and other women. Plus there is fully-realized irony when comparing Bo’s behavior to AM’s and the general reaction to men’s sexuality v women’s.) They dig each other, but they have reservations. These weren’t issues that could be resolved with a conversation. AM and Bo had things to work on and work out before they had a chance at being together.

I thought things got a little clunky in the second half. Frederick, in an effort to step outside the mainstream “tell tell tell” had a stretch where the sequence of events was a little muddy. And I thought the ending was too long. (That’s completely subjective though – some readers want to see their characters happily-ever-after. I don’t need everything tied with a bow and dropped in my lap. I just like to know they’re okay.) I’m going to check out the first book in this series – I’ve read Frederick before – loved some and hated some. I feel like I could really enjoy this series, so let’s find out.

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