Review: "Unethical" by Jennifer Blackwood

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

Unethical is the first book in the Drexler University series and the debut novel of author Jennifer Blackwood. It's about two young people who were once very much in love but, both feeling betrayed for two different reasons, had their relationship come to an abrupt end. Now, they find themselves in the very same university as pre-med students, are thrown together in the same Medical Ethics class, and are up for the same internship. Will the fact that they're still both in love with each other allow them to have that second chance at forever or will the two years of bitterness after their split prevent them from finding happiness again?

Two years ago, Payton Daniels' life changed forever and she did the one thing she felt she needed to do: run away. She moved to a different state, changed her family name from Cooper to her mother's maiden name, and left behind her family and the only boy she had ever loved. She felt betrayed by her parents for keeping a secret from her and then by her boyfriend, believing that he wasn't there when she needed him the most. 

Now, she finds herself keeping a secret of her own from her best friend, classmates, and professors. When she's faced with that secret in her Medical Ethics class, it takes everything within her to keep from reacting and letting people know. Then, she sees the one person who knows her and the past she's been running from--her ex-boyfriend and now-fellow pre-med student, Blake Hiller.

This was an engaging story about second chances, not just in romantic love but in life in general. Payton felt betrayed by the people she loved the most but her running away was a betrayal in itself, to the memory of her mother, to her father, and to Blake. When she learns of certain truths, her thinking and feelings begin to change as well but her tendency of running from the things that she can't handle is a bad habit that she seems she hasn't been able to rid herself of.

There were moments that Payton didn't exactly endear herself to me. For a smart girl, she had a habit of making some really bad choices. I wasn't sure who the real Payton was--the flirty, sometimes bordering on slutty, girl who was rubbing on one of the Blake's fraternity brothers, or the jaded and overly cautious girl who was simply trying to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Thankfully though, she seemed to finally make up her mind who the real Payton actually was within the last couple of chapters of the book.

Unethical was a good read, especially since it tackled a hot button issue like assisted suicide. It makes you pause and think about what your own personal views are on the subject and what you would do if you were in the same position as Payton's parents and if you would have reacted the same way that Payton did. The book had NA-related angst, drama, and some humor and I would gladly recommend it for NA fans who enjoy second chance stories and an honest-to-goodness good guy (for a change). ^.^ Four stars for Unethical!

Release Date: 20 October 2014

Date read: 15 October 2014

Learn more about author Jennifer Blackwood here.

Grab a copy of Unethical on Amazon | Barnes & Noble.


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