21 September 2014

Title: DAMAGED GOODS (The Outsider Chronicles, #2)
Author: Nicole Williams
Publisher: (September 9, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: When Liv Bennett said good-bye to her sinkhole of a hometown, she planned to leave that chapter of her life behind forever. But forever turned out to only be three years.

After her addict of a mother up and disappears, Liv returns to what she considers her own personal hell smack in the middle of nowhere Nevada to take care of her two younger sisters, and she promptly reinstitutes the golden rule that got her through her first nineteen years of life without getting knocked up, roughed up, or messed up: don’t date the local boys and, god forbid, don’t fall in love with one of them.

It isn’t long before that golden rule is put to the test.

Will Goods grew up in the next trailer over, but the wild, careless boy who used to tear up the town with his three brothers has morphed into someone else so completely, he’s almost unrecognizable. The quiet, contemplative man who works on cars every night and takes care of his mentally ill mother every day is nothing like the local boys Liv grew up avoiding.

But when Liv considers suspending her golden rule just this once, she finds out something about Will that will change everything.

Will Goods isn’t who he used to be—he’s not even the man Liv thinks she’s gotten to know over the summer. He’s become someone else entirely.

He’s become . . .

Damaged Goods.

Review: 4 StarsDamaged Goods, the second book in The Outsider Chronicles by author Nicole Williams follows new characters who are trying to overcome their pasts to make something better in their present and future. 

When main character Liv is on the brink of finishing another year away at college she’s called home to take care of her two younger sisters and misses her chance at being one step closer to fulfilling her dream of making something better for herself. She’d do anything for her sisters including going back home to the one place she wants to be away from the most.

She’s tough through and through and if it wasn’t for her sisters she wouldn’t have even thought about deviating from her plans, but her sisters mean everything so she puts her life on the back burner to try to help them have a better life then what she grew up knowing.

With a hard shell to crack she doesn’t want to let anyone close yet the pull of her neighbor – Will Goods proves hard to resist when her and her sisters need his help more than a few times over.

One of the main things I love about Liv is that she does what she needs to in making a better life for her sisters. And she does it without any complaints. She might not have the best ideas in how to make things happen and she might have to take not the best job but she does what she needs to do for her family when they need her the most. And I think that even without her knowing it… at least at first, she needs her sisters too. It’s through them and the people she meets along the way that she grows as a character instead of the girl with tunnel vision that we meet in the early stages of the book.

And then there’s Will… what to say about this guy? Well, Liv wasn’t the only one who didn’t see THAT coming. I mean… I’m not going to tell you what happens, but there’s a HUGE twist that shocked me beyond words. I think I reread that part of the book a few times because I was SURE I was reading something wrong. Then just when it all sinks in you do your own double take and try to go over everything in the story that came before to figure out how YOU as a reader could have missed it too!

These two characters have a lot to learn about life, love and family and it takes finding themselves and each other all while letting down walls as they stumble to try to find a new and happier way to live. Damaged Goods is without a doubt a fitting title for these two… actually I’m not sure Williams could have found a more fitting one.

It’s the characters and their journey that make the story. It’s the choices they make for those they love that are the icing on the cake and it’s what they find once they really look at their lives that are the ice cream on the side.

With so many wonderful contemporaries featuring college age protagonists I was more than happy to not have missed this one. Williams does know her broken characters and all that makes them tick. I know I love a good broken character, so who’s with me? While this is a series, the books are standalones with its own set of characters to follow. You don’t have to read one to follow the other, however I have read the first book – Hard Knox and LOVED it, I’m sure you will too – so keep it in mind if you haven’t already checked it out! I recommend both titles in The Outsider Chronicles, so go read and enjoy!

About the Author: 

I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.

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