Friday, June 10, 2016

738 Days by Stacey Kade

738 Days
by Stacey Kade
Read: May 29 - June 3, 2016
Published: June 7, 2016 by Forge Books
Source: Galley from publisher (Thank You, Tor/Forge!)
Category: New Adult, Contemporary, kidnapping, celebrities

Book Description: At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?


738 Days features three elements that usually turn me off from a book right away. 1) I avoid  kidnapping/sexual violence stories (I don't ever plan to read or see Room for instance). And this book is about a girl who was kidnapped when she was 15 and kept for over two years. Thankfully, only the prologue takes place during that time and the memories of Amanda's past that appear throughout the book are written with care. I'm glad I invested in this story despite my fears of this plot element. 

2) I typically avoid New Adult books like the plague and 3) Chase is in a "relationship" with his publicist when the book begins (ahem), and I've started to stay away from all stories with characters in current relationships. I'm very glad I read this anyway. I liked Amanda and Chase's voices from the beginning, and I find that connection with the main characters is one of the most important elements in my enjoyment of a story. Except for one thing (double ahem), Chase and Amanda communicate well, there isn't a lot of drama, and I had the best time seeing their growth and watching their relationship develop. The publicist thankfully disappears quickly - although she is the catalyst for much of the drama - and there are no real feelings involved there, so I was able to get past this part with minimal discomfort. 

Bottom line, despite my fears, this book was very much worth the investment! 

I am, however, a sucker for celebrity stories, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to pick this book up. Being a "known" person definitely adds a layer to any relationship and that certainly happens with Amanda and Chase - both good and bad, but I'm always fascinated by how a couple navigates the pressures of a public life. Being able to read the story from both of Amanda and Chase's POVs helped a lot in understanding both of their viewpoints better, especially as they navigate away from their pasts and into a new relationship. 

Both Chase and Amanda are characters with messy, broken histories that have damaged them, although their pasts are vastly different: Chase is a recovering alcoholic who has all but destroyed his career from his poor choices, while Amanda is still trying (and mostly failing) to get her life back together two years after she was rescued from her kidnapper. At first these two seem to have nothing in common, except the fact that there was a poster of Chase on the wall of the room where Amanda was kept. But their pasts actually allow them to understand each other better. Individually Chase and Amanda grow and change a lot in this story, but it is through their connection and knowing each other that it happens. I loved being able to see real individual change from each of them, but also watch their romance develop along with that. I believed their connection with each other, and I always need that to happen to feel invested in a relationship. 

738 Days is also pretty steamy, and the swoon is always fun to read. But what I appreciate most was how those scenes were written realistically and with care, showing an important aspect of Amanda's growth. I loved watching her become more more confident in herself and her own body, and less paralyzed by her past. Seeing Amanda recognise her own power was so rewarding, and Chase's patience and compassion through those scenes was exactly what she needed - and made both of us fall harder for him! These two melted my bones. 

Amanda and Chase face obstacles to their romance, both from the inside and from the outside, including some very scary situations. Their road to healing and each other is not easy, but that makes it all the sweeter to find. You definitely don't want to miss meeting these two and reading their story first hand. I hope Stacey Kade writes more New Adult in the future!

Love Triangle Factor: None: Chase does have a "relationship" with his publicist at the very beginning of this book. It's more mutually beneficial than any sort of feelings based, and disappears quickly. 

Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone


  1. I've heard so many good things about this book. I'm looking forward to reading it in the future.

  2. Glad you liked this -- the premise sounds intriguing and I'm so glad it was done well. Great review!!

  3. I wasn't sure about this one initially, but I think I'm going to have to give this one a try. I like the sound of the connection between the two characters especially and the growth that they undergo.
    I'm glad you liked this one, Lauren.
    Lovely review!

  4. Like you Lauren, this isn't typically the sort of book that I would read either, New Adult books are hit and miss for me and I'm not normally one to gravitate towards celebrity books, but you've certainly got me curious about this one. It sounds like Kade makes it work in many ways and that I'm a fan of! Thanks for putting this book on my radar! :)

  5. Yay :D Awesome review Lauren. <3 So glad you gave this book a try, and that you ended up loving it :D That is awesome. And yay for sweet romance. <3 It sounds awesome :) So glad this book was good for you. I'm curious about it now :D Thank you for sharing. <3 Hugs.


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