Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane (Tour Stop)

Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl.

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it.

But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died.

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself.

My Rating


My Review

Ex-Factor didn't take me very long to finish, but by no means is it a light read. There are an array of important issues that are addressed in the novel, and excellent themes sprout from each of them. A large number of car accidents occur every day, and a frightening amount are due to drunk driving. It's no secret that plenty of underage drinking happens, but it is hard for teenagers to get a true glimpse of how dangerous driving under the influence can be. Ex-Factor not only brings up this danger and shows how an awful accident can happen to anyone, but also shows how the survivors are affected by losing someone they love in a way that could have been prevented.

Both Bodie and Nev made mistakes in the past that changed their lives forever, and neither are eager to forgive themselves. Both of them had a loved one killed because of an accident caused by a drunk driver. The way that they were able to heal each other was beautiful, and I loved watching the relationship grow between the two of them. Together, they show that second chances are possible, and inspire the reader through something that can easily be translated from fiction to reality: hope.

I really enjoyed reading from Nev's point of view. Sometimes, her thoughts and dialogue could get a little repetitive, but seeing her go through the process of beginning again is an incredible addition to the story that a different perspective could not have brought. Despite the fact that I've never experienced heartbreak like she has, I was able to really connect with her as a character, which I always find to be very important.

Before reading Ex-Factor, I knew next to nothing about competitive cheerleading. I mean, I've seen a couple scenes from the Bring it On movies, but that's about it. Initially, especially given the title, I was worried that the cheerleading would just distract from all the important issues, themes and swoon-worthy romance I was looking forward to. However, Nev's solace in rekindling her love for the sport complimented the story, and really added something to her character. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into this world that I would not experience myself, and loved the strong sense of teamwork and sisterhood that came with it.

Ex-Factor is an excellent read that combines the strength and emotion of the issues that demand to be read with the heartwarming relationships between friends, family, and romantic interests. Although portions of it could get a bit cliche, the novel was still a very compelling contemporary read.   


No comments:

Post a Comment