Review: The Hierarchy of Needs by Rebecca Grace Allen (Portland Rebels #2)
Note: This ARC was provided by Rock Star Lit PR in exchange for an honest review.
The Hierarchy of Needs is the second book in Rebecca Grace Allen's Portland Rebels series and turns the spotlight on best friends Jamie and Dean. Six years ago, they shared a kiss and a bit more, but when Dean declared what happened a mistake the day after, things between him and Jamie were relegated back to the friend zone that they've been occupying since then. Both Jamie and Dean have their own set of insecurities and neither has been willing to cross that line and not blame whatever happens on alcohol...until they finally decide that one weekend to get it out of their system is exactly what they need...or so they thought.
Jamie Matthews is used to being overshadowed by her far more successful older brothers. Her dream of being in the fashion industry died a barely noticeable death when the schools she applied to turned her down. Now, she's fallen back on swimming, the same thing that got her a college scholarship and a job at the community center coaching. She likes the sport but she can't help but feel as if she's settling, not that she had much of a say in the matter. Another thing she's settled for is her relationship with Dean Trescott. They've been best friends since they were teens and even though she wants more, she's been friend-zoned.
Dean Trescott has never not noticed Jamie Matthews and while it may be true that he was the one who decided to not take their friendship to the next level, he has his reasons, reasons he's never shared with Jamie. What would be the point? After all, he knows she deserves better than having to be stuck with someone like him. He wants her to pursue her dreams, not be forced to shelve them like he has. When the sexual tension between them gets to be too much, he suggests one weekend together, but those few days and nights simply reiterate one thing he's always known: that Jamie is it for him but he can never have her.
I do love me my friends to lovers romances and Jamie and Dean's love story has been quite a number of years in the making. Familial responsibility makes Dean realize that he can't give Jamie what she deserves and when he makes it clear that nothing more can happen between them, he basically breaks both their hearts. He becomes something of a manwhore but none of the women he sleeps with can come close to Jamie, who he sometimes can't get enough of, blaming his actions on alcohol. Those moments he asks her "We still good?" are heartbreaking because you know how much they really want to be more than buddies.
This was such a great read and one that makes you think about what we want versus what we need. Dean held on to his belief of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which has been expanded twice since its inception, and it became his own personal philosophy of sorts, focusing on what was needed and not giving in to what he wanted. But it limited his scope of things, not letting him realize what Maslow was trying to say: that self-actualization was the pinnacle, not the impossible, and that it was something to strive for. The Hierarchy of Needs is about having what we need and still going after what we want and it gets 4.5 stars. ♥
Release Date: 07 July 2015
Date Read: 05 July 2015
Learn more about Rebecca Grace Allen here.