Review + Playlist: Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Title: Crushed
Author: Dawn Rae Miller
Publisher: FinnStar Publishing
Date of Publication: December 11, 2012

For seventeen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn't be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged boarding school life, and try not to mess up too much. 

However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who seems hell bent on confusing him - Fletch’s whole world is turned upside down. 

Suddenly, what seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.

CRUSHED is a New Adult book. It has profanity and sexual situations, and is intended for ages 16+.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Dawn has graciously provided the first five chapters of Crushed for free! Head over to her website to read chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Seriously, after I read the first chapter, I couldn't stop!


  1. Soft Shock (acoustic) …………….Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  2. Malibu ………………………………….Hole
  3. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa ……….Vampire Weekend
  4. Shadowcasting …………………….. Ra Ra Riot
  5. Silver Lining …………………………Rilo Kiley
  6. You Only Live Once ……………….The Strokes
  7. Heart Skipped a Beat ……………..The xx
  8. Zero ……………………………………..Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  9. New Slang …………………………….The Shins
  10. You Make My Dreams …………….Hall & Oates
  11. Fader …………………………………… The Temper Trap
  12. If I Ever Feel Better ……………….. Phoenix
  13. The Last High ………………………… The Dandy Warhols

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

After reading Gone Girl, I was so not in the mood for anything heavy. I needed a YA or an NA read asap! There came Dawn with her fantastic email, asking me if I can review Crushed. I immediately said yes after I read the synopsis. Sounds right up my alley. Fletch makes a bet with his friends that a player (or as they call him, a man-whore) like him can actually keep his hands to himself and be friends with a hot girl like Ellie Jacobs. We all know how this will end but that almost never stops us from reading, right?

This book is described as a new adult book and it doesn't waste its time establishing that. The first chapter has sex right from the start. Fletch and his pals attend a boarding school, an elite boarding school at that based on the descriptions. Their campus feels like a university with its many buildings and dorms, with a redwood forest at its property and a beach. Yeap. Plus, students here, or at least Fletch and his friends don't run out of money to buy weed. Yes, I can't count how many times they smoked pot or took some pills in this novel. Like I said, new adult or maybe upper YA. Sure, they're in high school but it sure feels like they're college students already.

I don't know how boarding schools are at USA but this novel colors them so wild. It's just very different here in the Philippines so it just might be me that I didn't find the setting that convincing. All the time I was reading, I kept thinking, "Is this real? Are they skateboarding in their campus while taking pills/drugs/weed?". Yes, this novel is about a teenager or teenagers getting wild, being alone and unsupervised in a boarding school where their parents pretty much funds everything. They get in trouble, yes, but their punishments are nothing rich Daddy can't get them out of. Yes, this novel is about privileged kids being rowdy and irresponsible. Yes, the characters seem easy to hate but you know what, I never hated them. I saw their flaws but I could never hate them because Dawn made these characters so real, you want to see them grow. And grow Fletch did.

Fletch is a rich character to explore. He's a player but he's been in love with only one girl ever since. He and his bestfriend, Brady, are both contenders for the spot of valedictorian. Basically, he's intelligent, rich and popular with the girls. He's a complicated character and definitely not your cardboard cut-out male protagonist. His problems are also legitimate (I will not spoil) and his internal conflict is so good. I love inner conflict because it brings out the character's personality more. You see his thought process, what he wants for himself, what he thinks, why he does things. Moreover, I like how Fletch and Ellie did not have an insta-love kind of love. Doesn't that make you happy? It made me really happy. Theirs was a slow dance, with passive-aggressive moves.

So why a three? I liked the novel, I really did, but it lost me at times. The novel was kind of slice-of-life-y in its style and so, each chapter kinda had its own scene, its own time frame. I'm normally okay with that but I guess I just noticed it much more here. The novel is character-driven and I don't have any problems with that but Crushed just felt like events tied together. Fletch and his pals buy weed. Next, they drink vodka and play video games. Ellie comes to the room one day. It's all jumpy in its narrative. So there's not much going on but there's enough in each chapter that drives the story forward. Maybe I just got tired of them being promiscuous and wild and all that because seriously, they've done nothing but that.

I like Ellie but I think she's like the manic pixie dream girl type in movies. She's cool and enigmatic. Maybe because Crushed is written in Fletch's perspective so Ellie seems like a conundrum, a puzzle waiting to be solved. She is actually, a puzzle, until we knew what she was thinking. So maybe Ellie is a stock character. However, a certain secondary character, Reid Yamashita, gets his own storyline and conflict and I really really like that. His conflict was also an internal one and one that I completely understand. I was cheering him on right from the get-go. And I really have to say this but I freakin' hated Calista. What's with the name? Ugh, bitch.

Overall, a nice, easy read written in the perspective of a complicated male protagonist. A plus for me because I love reading guy perspectives. And yeap,. this book is totally teenspeak. Never did I cringe for awkward dialogue and phrasings. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fast NA read (read it in 10 hours, where most of the time was spent not reading) which you'll enjoy. :)

Ooohh and the cover? Love love LOVE it! SO MUCH. It is so pretty I wanna have it displayed in my shelf. And you guys are lucky because Crushed is coming in paperback come January. Woohoo!

Thank you to Dawn for giving me a copy! I really appreciate it. Oh and yes, if you'd like to see Dawn's character board on Pinterest, clickie!

About Dawn Rae Miller

Dawn spends too much time on Twitter. And Pinterest. And running. Basically, she’s a master procrastinator with great time management skills. When she’s not dreaming up new book ideas, Dawn is most likely watching her three sons play lacrosse or trying to convince her husband he really does like vegetables.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

1 comment:

  1. I'm absolutely in love with this cover as well. It's simple, yet stunning:) Oh, and I've never been to a boarding school, but the ones here, in Estonia, aren't that wild either. I think the US ones are always dexcribed as some elite get-togethers. While reading your review I totally imagined gossip girl in my head, lol. I really enjoy guy pov-s as well and NA is right up my alley, so thanks for introducing it, Dianne! Definitely have to check it out:)


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