I love the controversy that surrounds S. Walden’s books, you are either going to love them or hate them. When Good was released and the chatter began, I knew I had to check this one out for myself. Good is only my second book by S. Walden but I can say she is slowly becoming one of my ‘must read’ authors. As well as a thought provoking subjects, you also get a realistic story, even though people may squirm or disagree with events that take place within the pages of S. Walden’s books, there is no denying that the same situation is happening around the world right now. It is the truth of S. Walden’s words I admire, why should teacher/student relationships not be explored?
Cadence is a good girl, one mistake costs her a stint in Juvie and also the loss of trust between her parents. She can’t breathe without their permission. So her life begins to perk up when the hot highway stranger she met so briefly turns out to be her new calculus teacher. She knows her little school girl crush won’t go anywhere but what happens if the teacher flirts back? Who is doing the pursuing then?
Good was a very detailed journey of Cadence and her move from a very immature seventeen year old school girl to a young adult. Cadence had to deal with love, lies, heartache, loss and treachery. I think S. Walden captured Cadence’s persona really well. Cadence was awkward and naive. Yes some of her words were cringe inducing but that’s exactly what an inexperienced seventeen year old would say.
I think Mark is the dividing line in this novel. You are either going to love or hate him. And I think this is where the controversy stems from. I didn’t see Mark as a book boyfriend. He didn’t win me over and I wasn’t rooting for him to be with Cadence or vice versa. I was suspicious, wary and not entirely convinced of his motives. But that’s the thing, I’m not sure S. Walden created him to be a character we fell in love with. I believe the story is written in such a way that the author doesn’t condone or protest against this relationship. It is left for us to read it and make up our own minds.
I seen Mark as a predator, he really did set his sights on Cadence. He was the adult in this relationship and at every turn he knew better. Not that I’m saying a seventeen year old and a twenty eight year old can’t fall in love. Who am I to judge that. What didn’t sit well with me was the humiliation he caused Cadence or the way he could play with her feelings when he decided they were in too deep. If they were truly in love then I believe waiting until she had left school would have been the responsible thing for Mark to do. Of course had that happened we would have no book or controversy for that matter.
I really enjoyed this book, it highlighted a real subject, it may make you feel uncomfortable, no parent would like to think this could be happening to their child without their knowledge. It is definitely thought provoking. It’s not your typical New Adult romance, I kinda did want Cadence to be with Mark but only for her sake as she had many highs and lows with him. And as for Mark, well the jury is still out on that one.
The writing flowed really well. A lot of drama and deceit went on that kept me engrossed to the very end. The side characters were comical and crucial as well. Cadence found an unexpected friend in an old lady called Fanny who was open minded and was there to offer Cadence advice.
For me this was a very entertaining read. It ends in a cliffhanger, I wasn’t annoyed at that as I usually am, I just felt the urge to have the next instalment now!! I do wonder what is next in store for Cadence and Mark. With S. Walden I know not to expect all sunshine and flowers. This story could literally go in any direction. The anticipation is certainly a good thing.
If you have an open mind and lots of intrigue then I suggest you check out Good for yourself today. You may be surprised with how much you love to hate it.
“Honey if butterflies lasted forever, do you think there’d be divorces and breakups and heartache?” ~ Fanny
“Love comes in all kinds of packages. Some are neatly tied up, and some are messy. It doesn’t mean the messy ones aren’t every bit as good.” ~ Fanny
“But the truth is that I liked this song the second I heard it because it was me, right on the edge of choice- that space between moving towards something positive or falling into the abyss. I chose to fall. One time. Just once. And now everything had changed, and I couldn’t stand the darkness.” ~ Cadence
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
This is the first book I’ve read by Summer Walden and HOLY CRAP! I am now a fan, not just a little fan either. This woman can write so well, and took me on such a journey in GOOD. I was told that her writing can push the limits of comfort, and does it? Hell yes it does!! Was I uncomfortable at times? Hell yes I was!! And I LOVED every single page of it! I love reading books that make me feel a little naughty for reading them, NOT sex- naughty more like taboo-sneaky-naughty! Like when explaining this book to my husband he gave me a weird look-naughty. So I just told him to shut it, and I kept on reading! This book is AMAZING!!! I’m not even joking a little, it will melt you in places you didn’t even know you had!
This book is about as controversial as they come, and is most definitely not your typical teacher/student love affair. Cadence Miller is a seventeen year old high school senior who spent most of her junior year in juvenile detention for being an accomplice to a robbery. Add on being super high while she was caught and this leads to a major lockdown on Cadence’s freedom during her senior year. Now back in school, Cadence is treated so badly by her fellow classmates that she is now the major outcast of the school. The bullying is present every day, and quite honestly I was disgusted with how her parents dealt with it. They turned their cheek to everything Cadence admitted to them, and their attitude towards Cadence in this regard was so indifferent that it made me sick. And these are Church going spiritual people we’re talking about! I guess that whole forgiveness crap just went through one ear!
Mark Connelly enters the picture right from the beginning, although his huge role in Cadence’s life isn’t present from the start. It is extremely relevant however. Mark is a very attractive, very smart, very 28 year old teacher at Cadence’s school, her teacher. Annnnnnnnd there it is… 28 and 17. The two numbers that would make most Moms’ run for the hills, and make ALL Dads’ polish their gun!! But let’s not forget that we are in Georgia where the age of consent is 16. I’m not sure why, but this actually helped me out while reading the book. I would have loved this story regardless, but I guess it made me feel better about thoroughly enjoying it! Funny I know… The way that Cadence and Mark’s relationship grew together was so good for me that I actually experienced butterflies while reading it! So did I feel guilty? Nope, not one bit! Mark completely stole my heart in every sense of the word, he was sweet charismatic, HOT, in love with music, and quite the smooth/dirty talker in the bedroom! I loved everything about him!
This book had me feeling every single emotion that I wanted to feel, even a couple that I didn’t know wanted to come out! The whole premise of “Forbidden Love” can be intoxicating book honey to all of us right? This is so different than anything I’ve ever read, and made me feel so good inside! I know how corny and cheesy that sounds but I don’t care! Cadence and Mark go through some typical relationship crap, and get off track a little, have great makeup sex, go through some even more traumatizing couple stuff, and then in the end everything blows up big time! It’s safe to say I’m not a big fan of Cadence’s Dad. I won’t tell you why but I’m going to need the next book like YESTERDAY!! Yes this ended in a cliff, not a major one but enough to keep me very intrigued for the next book! Summer Walden did a great job with this book, and I truly LOVED it. Go read it now!!!!
Here is some GOOD stuff for ya!
“I felt languid, like a warm rain puddle, and crawled into Mark’s lap with the intention of soaking him.”
“I’ve felt powerful at times. The way you look at me. Like I could make you do anything. Crawl on your knees. Beg me. Is that wrong?”
“All for you Cadence,” Mark replied. “You give me the rhythm. Actually, you are the rhythm.”
“This was pissed off roughness, and I swear he meant to fuck the bitch right out of me.”
“Call me crazy. Call me possessive or unstable or whatever. I don’t care. I’ll kill anyone who hurts you.”
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband, who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. She is the USA Today bestselling author of Going Under. When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her twitter feed at @swaldenauthor.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter