Note: This ebook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Parting Chances is the first book in the Fighting Chance series by author Caylie Marcoe and is a new adult (NA) romance about a college senior dealing with the cancer diagnosis of her mother while trying to continue living her life. She wants to focus on her family and on school but the re-appearance of a guy she met in freshman year has her off-kilter. Is she ready to take a chance on falling in love with someone who seems to be the perfect guy for her or are her walls too formidable for even true love to overcome?
Haley Cavanaugh has a lot on her plate--she's in her last year of college, she's about to move into an apartment with her best friend Kyler, she's dealing with the break-up of her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, and she's just learned that her mother's cancer has returned and is no longer responding to treatment. The last thing she needs is to be distracted by a guy who's gone from geeky to hottie in the span of three years. The more time she spends with him, the more she risks falling hard for him.
Eli Park first met Haley in their freshman year and he's pretty sure that he barely remembers him other than having been her best friend Noah's roommate and a scrawny nerd. He left after that year and has now returned, no longer scrawny but still a touch nerdy and sharing a house with Noah. He's had a crush on Haley ever since they crossed paths but he never got his shot with her, what with her not noticing him and then proceeding to date another guy. Now, he wants her to finally take a chance on him.
Haley makes it clear to Eli that she isn't ready to be part of a serious relationship, what with everything going on with her family. Eli respects her wishes and doesn't push her, but he does tell her that he's willing to wait. What began as an awkward re-introduction has blossomed into a great friendship between the two but Eli wants more and so does Haley, except she refuses to break down her walls even for him. She constantly pushes him away and proceeds to tell him to move on with someone else.
When Haley sees Eli with another girl, she realizes how wrong she was to let him go. They come to an agreement and acknowledge that there's definitely something more going on between the two of them. Just as Haley's ready to take their relationship to the next level, she receives news that devastates her and makes her lash out at the one person who's provided her the support she needs. Is she destined to live her life totally alone, having pushed away those whose love and care she refuses to rely on?
Haley was a frustrating character and it has to do with what I perceived as her often immature and selfish behavior. There were times that she and Kyler reminded me more of teenagers in high school rather than college seniors. She didn't want to be in a relationship with Eli but went nutty the minute she saw him with someone else. She had a tendency of over-reacting and over dramatizing everything. Still, she did grow on me towards the latter half of the book, even though I still wanted to smack some sense into her.
While this is a love story, Parting Chances is also about family. Haley's relationship with her parents and her brother may seem overly idealized but the reality that they would all soon lose Haley's mother could have either shattered or strengthened them. There were a few moments that I found myself tearing up because of what the family was going through and how Eli was simply this source of quiet strength and support for Haley. This was a pleasure to read and I'm happily giving it four stars. ♥
Date read: 23 January 2015
Learn more about author Caylie Marcoe here.