3volve by Josefina Gutierrez
Publisher: Josefina Gutierrez
Publication Date: July 2015
From Josefina Gutierrez, the author of The Shadow of Loss, comes a new New Adult contemporary love story.
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.
This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I put off reading 3volve because I had no idea what to expect; but when I finally got around to reading it, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.
Cristal is a wild child and a self proclaimed “mess”, who favours tequila more than she should. When her parents die unexpectedly and she’s left as the guardian to her brothers, she has to get her act together, find a job, and become someone worth looking up to. Her best friends- Charlie and Nessa- help as much as they can, and it’s during this period that she discovers her feelings for Charlie.
I like Cristal. She seems real and shameless. She has a vulnerable side, which she’s aware of, but she is anything but wretched. Cristal is an amusing character to read about, especially when she is so clueless about Charlie’s feelings for her. I like how she develops as a character, and matures as a person; the fact that she doesn’t all of a sudden become a perfect person makes her story realistic.
Charlie is another character in this book that I just love. He’s sweet, and tolerant of Cristal’s wild ways, and when her parents die, he is one of the first people to make her realise that she has to change. I generally admire guys who have gone (or are still going) through unrequited love; and in Charlie’s case, I imagine it’s quite painful because Cristal is his best friend, and he has been in love with her for eight years.
Even though the synopsis made me feel like there would be lots of angst, I was happy to find out that there isn’t so much of that. The story has deep moments, but not enough to make the reader extremely sad or depressed. I like the inclusion of Spanish words: it makes for an interesting reading experience, and I appreciate the fact that the author was thoughtful enough to include a glossary.
In short, 3volve is a lovely story with realistic characters and evenly paced events that kept me in sync with the characters’ feelings.