(Painting Sky #1)
By Rita Branches
Nobody ever said life was easy...People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.But things don't always go as planned...Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate - another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend's older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane's life becomes more complicated than ever before.When Keith's past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants--even if it hurts everyone she loves.
I adored this book. I also binge read it. I went to sleep at 3 in the morning and felt like a zombie the whole next day, but I was proud because I managed to finish this book. The story got me so emotionally involved that by the end of it all I wanted everyone who was against Jane (AKA Sky) and Keith together to just drop dead where they stood.
I loved Jane as a character. Even though in the synopsis and in the book, it describes her as a "people pleaser", she doesn't really get stepped on. She deals with confrontation differently and sometimes head on, which was refreshing to see/read about. I really liked how her and Keith's relationship was carried throughout the book. I also enjoyed how the author treated her break up with Cody because it's not something I've seen in the recent books I've read. My one problem with her was that she seemed to think that being a virgin and not wanting to sleep with her boyfriend (at the time) would somehow drive him away. It was almost like she was equating her doing the deed with him to her worth as a human being. My logic: Sleeping with someone will not make them any less likely to break it off with you or go find 'it' with someone else, so why almost force yourself to do it in the first place?
Keith was very hard headed and very hot and cold to Jane until the very end. I hated when he'd act out and mistreat Jane for no apparent reason, but then the author just had to put in a few oh so sweet moments and I'd start to like him again. Overall, he did end up winning me over, but I do hope he changes somewhat over the next few books (which will feature different characters from this story).
The one thing that ticked me off in this whole book (but really added to the story) was the prejudiced parents/families of both main characters. If someone has gotten their life together, but is pierced and tattooed (in their families eyes) they must be punks and will eventually end up in jail, even though they've never committed a crime after they moved out and got into college. I just hated that stereotype.
The parents went so far as to be openly rude or snide about it all and no one (except Jane) did anything about it or call anyone on it. I personally find tattoos beautiful and would never even dream about reacting like the grown adults acted toward Keith. Being judgemental towards someone for simply having permanent body art is just causing us as a society to retrocess back into medieval times and it's ridiculous. What someone does or doesn't do to their body is their problem (unless it's detrimental to their health because that's a whole other discussion to be had) and neither you or I get to have any say on it.
After that mini rant, I'd like to conclude by saying how amazing this novel was and that I can't wait for Ryan's book to be released. Considering this is this authors debut novel the writing was incredible and the pacing in this novel was on point. I wonder what I can expect from her in future books.
"Growing up is exactly that: feeling like life is going at full speed without being able to grasp the essentiality of it as you leave pieces of yourself scattered along the way."
"I wasn't a porcelain doll who didn't know what was good for myself; I knew how to defend myself, and I did not need anyone to get in my face and dictate who I should or shouldn't befriend."
"You made me realize I have a place in the world, and that I'm not just an embellishment for everyone to toss around and show off. You made me realize I have flaws and other qualities beyond the good girl - the people-pleaser. You see me."