If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett | ARC Review

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If You Only Knew follows two characters, Corey and Tessa. Corey has just been released from jail, serving time for a crime he didn’t commit when his old gang ropes him into a plan to get revenge on his lawyer. Tessa is the daughter of said lawyer, but she isn’t as squeaky clean as you’d think being the kid of a law abiding man. Corey feels extreme guilt over what he did so he immediately apologizes, and Tessa sees a way to erase the guilt she feels from her own run-in with the law and convinces her father to give him a second chance, and thus their love story begins.

The book is aptly titled. Both characters have secrets that hold them back and could change their relationship, but they both have their reasons for keeping them hidden until they reveal them. What I also liked is that when Corey reveals his secret Tessa doesn’t run away. In fact, she does the complete opposite and helps him solve his problem, even if it means doing something bad. They’re both stubborn, but they’ll do anything for the people they love.

What I also liked was the relationship itself. I feel like it’s getting harder and harder to read about relationships in YA where both characters are mature enough to talk about their problems and would rather play the blame game or do anything else other than take responsibility for their actions. It was refreshing to see these two characters be honest about their intentions and what they wanted (mostly).

Overall, this was a really good book. I’d been struggling to find a romance where there was serious character development along with relationship development. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their story and highly recommend this to older readers of YA!

PURCHASE

Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 11th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

A boy recently released from jail and the daughter of a prosecutor fall for each other against the odds in this YA novel.

Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.

To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: She sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.

As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.

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