Author: Danielle Weiler
Publisher: Ranga Books
Release Date: August 9, 2013
‘Are you going to ask me in?’ he replied, a cheeky smile forming on the edges of his lips. Then he leaned towards me conspiratorially. ‘We aren’t strangers, you know.’
Milly Benton wants it all to go away. Wants to flip the bird to the nightmares and her parent’s grief and the incessant questions about when she’s going to make something of herself.
But when her parents exile her to the country, Milly has to cope with her annoyingly helpful aunt and three cousins instead. Bitter at the hand she’s been dealt, Milly has stopped dreaming of a future.
In steps Jerome with his tormented blue eyes. Familiar from her childhood and as broken as she. They need each other. But how can they forget?
My Thoughts: After reading and liking Danielle Weiler's debut Friendship on Fire last year, I asked her in an interview about Reckless (which had a slightly different title back then). I remember being really intrigued by it because not only did I love reading Australian novels, I was also a fan of new adult books. My love for Australia and new adult still hasn't changed, so it's no surprise that I was very much excited to start reading Reckless.
The story revolved around Milly, a 19-year-old girl trying to move on from the nightmares and grief that have consumed her life for the past two years since the death of her twin brother Christian. The way Milly coped with the tragedy was by being rebellious. She acted out and did irresponsible and thoughtless things like shoplifting and hooking up with a strange man she just met online. Milly's choices and decisions in the beginning of the book didn't make her the most likeable person to the people around her. As a reader, I couldn't bring myself to dislike her because it was evident that deep down this was not the type of person she wanted to be. I had no idea where her life was headed, and all I could do was root for her and hope for the best.
What I appreciated about Reckless was that, while it may have contained heartbreak like death and regret, it wasn't entirely a sad or depressing book. It actually was a light and fast-paced read. It had humorous and fun moments, and I enjoyed reading the dynamics between Milly and her little sister and her three all-boy cousins. I also really liked the relationship she shared with her aunt Charmaine and her new friend Shelia. I was relieved that Milly was able to get along with them, considering her relationships with two important women in her life back home weren't the greatest. All these characters played a role in Milly's life whether it was major or minor, and these relationships proved she had the ability to grow and mature.
I can't forget to mention my favorite relationship in the book: Milly and Jerome. The interesting thing about it was that Jerome was Christian's best friend, and Milly hadn't seen him since her brother's death. Even though they weren't particularly close when Christian was alive, I loved how easy it was for them to build a friendship. They seemed content around each other. Of course, though, nothing is ever that simple. After they began to fall for each other, things became complicated, and I was sadden by how things were turning out for them. There were some surprise chapters from Jerome's perspective near the end, and I was glad to have gotten those. At the same time, it made me wish there had been more insight from him because he was such a sweet guy and I thought he deserved to be happy right along with Milly.
As I've indicated before, Reckless had some hard-hitting moments, but it was not a hard read at all and it's quick to get through. It was filled with all the lows and highs Milly was experiencing in her life, and by the end, it left me with a sense of hope for her and everyone she cared about. I definitely felt like I got the closure I needed. Reckless is the second book by Danielle Weiler that I've enjoyed, and I can't wait to read whatever she plans next.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars