Review: "Scratch" by Rhonda Helms

Note: This ARC was provided by Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Scratch is a New Adult (NA) novel about a college student who exists day to day, not wanting any attention to be called her way. On the weekends, she deejays at a local club, sharing her love of music with others but does it without wanting the spotlight. However, someone's already noticed her and once he does, she begins to wonder if she's satisfied with merely existing or if she's ready to really start living.

Casey has a deep scar on her abdomen but the scars that aren't easily seen are those that go even deeper. She keeps all of that hidden away, refusing to share it with anyone and not really bothering to engage in deep friendships with other people. The only ones who know her pain are her grandparents. Then she meets Daniel, a classmate of hers in Philosophy, and while she's attracted to him and they grow closer over several months, her secrets are something she's not ready to let go of. If Daniel keeps pushing for her to put her guard down, Casey needs to choose between losing what she holds close to her chest or losing the one who holds her heart.

I can appreciate the attempt at presenting an often used plot (girl with painful past meets ideal boy, they fall in love but she's keeping a secret that could end their relationship) in NA books but, like the female lead character, this book blew hot and cold for me. I so wanted to feel some sort of empathy for Casey but she just felt so one-dimensional with teeny tiny bursts of change happening only to go back to being this closed-off girl. When she's finally bursting with anger, she blurts everything out, as if making up for having kept it in all this time. Then she's completely calm when she shares the same story with someone else. It was difficult for me to fully embrace such a huge change in her, especially so late in the story.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of my review, this was an ARC and while some ARCs are already formatted to read like a book just waiting to be published, this one was just one paragraph after another, making segues seem abrupt. There was also a scene in one of the chapters that had Daniel driving the car and then later it was Casey driving and then back to Daniel and then back to Casey, and this was all in ONE scene. Suffice it to say, it got confusing at times.

Scratch is the kind of book that you go into, hoping it'll blow you away or, at the very least, move you. By the end, it felt more like a "woulda, coulda, shoulda" kind of book, one that had potential that was never fully met. But, like I said, I appreciate the effort and it actually was an okay read on my end. I just felt underwhelmed. So, I'm giving the book three stars out of a possible five. ♥

Release Date: 30 September 2014

Date read: 27 September 2014

Learn more about author Rhonda Helms here.

You can check out Scratch or Ms. Helms' other books on Amazon | Barnes & Noble.