Review: Patch Up by Stephanie Witter

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Title: Patch Up
Author: Stephanie Witter
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Date of Publication: September 11, 2013
Genre: contemporary NA romance

Skye followed her long time boyfriend to Seattle for their first year of college, but he dumped her after only a week. The relationship brought only pain and destruction in Skye's life, and yet, she can't bring herself to open up and live her life.

"What if I am already broken into pieces?"

She hates to be touched, hiding under her oversized shirts and behind her wild frizzy hair. Even her bubbly roommate can't reach her. And yet ...

"I'm the guy who knows how you can hurt so much that your insides feel like they're cut and bleeding."

The tall, handsome, and tattooed TA in her psychology class changes everything when he literally collides with her and confronts her. For the first time in a long time, she wants to try and open up to this guy whose dark, intense eyes can't hide his own pain despite his dazzling smile getting to her.

However, just when she's starting to live again, her ex-boyfriend comes back, breaking her time and time again, making it all the more complicated.

She wants to fight for herself and for this building thing with the TA, even when he pushes her away, but can two broken people patch each other up?

"I never thought colliding with someone could change lives, but it is possible."

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Janine of Eclipse Reviews and to Stephanie Witter for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I love the cover. It doesn't really have a connection with the story (nothing I can get without overanalyzing) but it's just so pretty! I especially like the atmosphere and how everything is washed up in purple/violet. Oh, I just thought of a meaning! Is it washed out in purple because bruises are purple and Skye was in an abusive relationship? Okay, I'll stop analyzing. Moreover, the title is so apt to the story, I give props to Stephanie.

Like most new adult novels, Patch Up has two broken characters as its protagonists. Skye has been in an abusive relationship and even though she was dumped by his asshole boyfriend, he still hounds her and hits her. I feel so bad and sad for Skye because she just accepted her fate. She doesn't like to be touched and is downright afraid of physical contact, even from a girl or a friend. Her previous relationship wrecked her and she's been living as a shell ever since. She not only built a wall to guard her heart but she built a fortress. She pretends that she's happy for her parents and she lacks a social life as she just devotes all her time to studying. It takes Duke, the tattooed and hot TA from her Psychology class to break down that fortress and to heal her.

Duke is one broken person as well. His girlfriend died and he still feels guilty over it. In fact, he even tattooed her name on the skin at the top of his heart to forever remind him of her. When he sees Skye in the psychology class he's a TA in, he ends up drawn to her. Probably because he recognizes a broken soul when he sees one and he wants to help her. That's what he tells himself, Skye and us but as they get to know each other, he realizes that he cares for her more than what's normal of a curious and helpful guy.

Although I've been bitching about new adult being saturated with broken people, that wasn't my issue with Patch Up. I actually like the characterization of our two lovebirds. This is my first novel with a battered girlfriend as a heroine and although painful and pitiful to read, it felt realistic how Skye just freezes and zones out when her ex hits her. A bunch of stuff were realistic, which made the unrealistic stuff shine out more. Some of the situations, reactions to situations and actions weren't all that normal or truthful in my opinion. Moreover, while Patch Up sure has great lines as well, bits of dialogue were stilted and sounded forced. Like I wouldn't believe someone would actually say or think that. However, I think most people won't notice that much and I'm just too critical when I read this.

Skye and Duke did go back and forth like a pingpong from going to something more to kind of fighting again. They took baby steps forward but took big steps back. While kind of frustrating since you just want them to grow and realize they're for each other, that's how it happens in real life which I appreciated. However, the highlight of the novel for me was the big event and conflict near the end. It was painful to read and I just want to reach out to Skye but it made the story tighter and stronger.

Patch Up is a tale of how two broken people can mend each other's heart. Tackling a heavy issue, it's gives us a look into abusive relationships and its portrayal of a battered girlfriend has been both insightful and distressing. I recommend this to new adult readers looking for something meaty or heavy (but not so heavy) to read.

About Stephanie Witter

Twenty-something writing contemporary young-adult and new-adult novels.

I live in Rouen (France) where I drink too much coffee and tea.

When I'm writing I'm always listening to music - rock, pop rock, punk, hard rock, alternative rock, etc - because it helps me to focus on my story and forget the world outside.

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