{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: Chasing Forever Down by Nikki Godwin

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chasing Forever Down (Drenaline Surf, #1)
Title: Chasing Forever Down (Drenaline Surf #1)
Author: Nikki Godwin
Date of Publication: March 14, 2013
Genre: contemporary YA romance, sports

After seventeen-year-old Haley Sullivan meets a mysterious stranger who plays by his own rules, she's more than determined to learn every trick of the trade from the master himself. But her dream-chasing mentor disappears after that night, and according to the local newspapers, he's been dead for years. Knowing he's very much alive, Haley enlists best friend Linzi to join her on a scavenger-hunt-style road trip that ultimately lands them in the surf town of Crescent Cove, California. Mystery guy is no mystery here, though – he's Colby Taylor, the west coast's biggest professional surfer.

If Haley wants to talk to the wave rider again, she'll have to get past his four intimidating bodyguards who are highly skilled in the business of sending starstruck fangirls back to where they belong. Haley is up for the challenge if it means chasing her dreams and escaping the perfectly corporate future that's been planned for her. But dealing with these bodyguards isn't exactly what Haley imagined it'd be. Sure, being thrown off a jet ski sucks, but falling in love with one of them might just be worse.

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Nikki Godwin for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

So it comes to no surprise that I love Nikki Godwin and her novel AMERICAN GIRL ON SATURN. But honestly, I have been so afraid to read CHASING FOREVER DOWN resulting to me putting off reading it as long as I could. It's one thing to love AGoS because I generally love anything with a close-proximity trope. Or anything with celebrities. I guess being a fangirl makes my ultimate fantasy to be stuck somewhere with a star. But like what Nikki said and is afraid of, Chasing Forever Down is different from American Girl on Saturn. As much as she's afraid that people who loved AGoS won't like CFD, I'm also frightened that I won't love or gasp! even like CFD and I badly want to like/love it. Then I was reading this sci-fi book and I just couldn't get into it and decided that I should brave it and read CFD. I was so glad I did because all my fears were unfounded and I blazed through CFD in one night-midnight-morning. #eyebags

I know nothing about surfing and that's one of the reasons why I'm wary of reading CFD. But fear not everyone who's like me because there will be no surfing jargon. Our heroine, Haley, knows nothing about surfing as well. In fact, she only went to Crescent Cove, the home of surfer star Colby Taylor, not because she's a fan but because she wants to know how he escaped it all. Haley learns that the stranger he met on an epically boring social party was actually dead. Not the vampire or zombie type but that he vanished and was considered dead for three years. But she knows she didn't see a ghost so she goes on a roadtrip with no known location, trying to find this mystery guy who she thinks can be her mentor in escaping the future her parents planned for her. Like seriously goes on a clue-picking Nancy-Drew-esque roadtrip with her best friend. When she reaches Crescent Cove, she learns that simply meeting Colby Taylor is an almost impossible endeavor, what with his four bodyguards who are so different from each other. From here on, she sets out on winning these four guys to ultimately talk to Colby Taylor and ask him "How did you escape it all?".

Chasing Forever Down is a low-key novel but it is sometimes the low-key ones, those who are not making much noise, that just grabs you tight. I didn't realize how much time passed until I finished the book. You just get invested in the characters even more than you'll get at the story. CFD reads like a slice-of-life novel with no grand conflict. Haley has a goal and the mini-missions or obstacles just come to her when it's there. And surprisingly, you just read on. From the get go, there was no romance between Colby and Haley. She just wants to ask him how she can chase her dreams. And I love that. I love how Haley isn't in this insane mission just for a guy but because she truly believes he can teach her. I was even doubtful if there will be romance in this story because for the most part, there seems to be none. And I still dug it because this is not a romance novel. Not primarily that is. It's a coming-of-age story, learning the ropes, finding yourself and all that. So when an inkling of romance popped out, I admit to being excited. Coming-of-age with a love interest? I'm greedy for those. Then when Nikki surprised me with who the love interest is, I felt like she snatched my chair out from under me. But even though I was surprised at first, the pairing ultimately made sense and I was so into shipping them right away.

But seriously, it isn't really the romance that grabbed me. It's the characters. All of them. Even the smallest of the characters made an impact in me. I know nothing about the "surfer bum" life and until now, I don't actually understand it. But when Miles, one of the surfers, told Haley about getting surfing, understanding surfing, I was floored. I didn't know that's why some surfers surf. That it's a spiritual thing. To be with this formidable wave and just letting it all go, trusting the wave not to eat you up. Wow. In a way, Haley and I are the same in that we know nothing and CFD totally opened my eyes. I thought surfers were just a bunch of adrenaline junkies and nothing more and now, I know better.

The characters and their friendships, it totally got me reeled in. They didn't feel like friends, they were family. Truth be told though, I didn't relate much to Haley. I guess I just don't see myself going after a "dead" guy to ask him how to escape. And going on a roadtrip and doing all of the things she did. But maybe that's just because I'm not that free-spirited or maybe because I don't have the pressure that she experiences. I guess I really didn't buy how their parents just allowed them to go. And maybe that's a culture thing or I don't know. The logistics and how realistic the set-up is are what's keeping me from fully diving in to Haley's character and story. But even with that, I still loved the characters, even the smallest ones. They were such diverse people but surfing glued them tight. For the record, Topher is my favorite Hooligan and AJ is my favorite bodyguard.

This review has been so hard to write because I couldn't quite explain what made me into Chasing Forever Down. It is just great. It is what it is and it just is. And I love it. My review feels somber because that's how I felt while reading Chasing Forever Down. No, it's not sad but there's this sense of calm that I felt while reading it. As if somehow I'm reading about someone's spiritual journey. And it kinda is a spiritual journey. Haley learns and realizes a lot of things in this summer journey of hers with so many interesting people. I can't wait for Haley to come back in Crescent Cove and to read about everyone again. I am sure it will be another somber read that will bring out the side of me I don't usually see, the calm, thinking one.

About Nikki Godwin

Nikki Godwin is a Young Adult/New Adult author. She is a city girl who can't live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, Hawthorne Heights, and candles from Bath & Body Works. When not writing, she's not-so-secretly stalking her favorite bands. She may or may not completely love One Direction.


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