Wanted by Kelly Elliott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I WAVERED between 3.5 and 4 stars and I really wanted to give a 4 star rating because I really liked the story line, BUT the writing was just not up to par.
Wanted is a romance story between Ellie and Gunner at first, then towards the middle of the book, Jeff and Ari’s story is sprinkled throughout the book (which confused me, but I went along with it). Ellie was verbally abused by her mother growing up and prior to leaving for collage, Ellie’s mother told Ellie that no one would ever want her and this made Ellie put a guard over her heart. Gunner is smitten with Ellie and does what ever he can to win her heart. Jeff is Ellie’s big brother and Gunner’s best friend. Ari is Ellie’s best friend from child hood. Jeff and Ari have a love/hate relationship, but it’s really more hate than love.
I liked Jeff and Ari’s relationship more than Ellie and Gunner’s. I thought Ellie was too emotional, a little bit too naïve and probably too young for Gunner. Gunner is just ridiculous, I am suppose to imagine this young Texas male, who works out every day and can get what ever girl he wants, but he’s what? Just all of sudden would do anything for Ellie after a few days? It’s very unbelievable.
One word to describe the book is SLOW. When I started to read Wanted I was excited because I do like to read long books and the beginning was very promising. The beginning introduced Ellie and her background, I felt like I was being warmed-up into the story, but after 100 pages and we are only at day 2, I was starting to question where the book was going.
I think when I realized there wasn’t going to be any story line that revolves around college I started to get disappointed. I was thinking we would get scenes with Ellie in the class room and Gunner walking Ellie around campus, but instead most of the book was based on apartment parties and Gunner’s ranch.
Wanted started to get juicy when Ellie and Gunner started to conflict a little towards the middle-end of the book, at that point I was throwing my hands up in the air and saying FINALLY we get drama, BUT that didn’t last long. Ellie and Gunner’s relationship was basically a smooth ride with a few bumps and I think that is why I enjoyed Jeff and Ari’s story so much more.
Jeff and Ari’s relationship was just one ball of crazy tension and I loved it. I was really angry that in the middle of the book we started to get Jeff and Ari’s POV, I was thinking to myself, WTF, why didn’t Kelly Elliot just write the whole book on all 4 POV’s equally. Jeff and Ari’s side wasn’t the main focus and it really bummed me out. Also, not everything was answered, I am referencing the ending.
I did get confused a lot because of the writing. I would be reading a scene and it says something like Ellie was pushed to the ground, then a few sentences later, she was against the Jeep and I was just questioning, is it the ground or the Jeep? because it didn’t make sense to me. Or Ellie would say, Gunner walked out in only a towel and she saw his tattoo and a few chapters later, Ellie said she finally saw Gunner without a shirt and I was thinking I thought she already saw his chest? Moments like those in the book really threw me off, hence the lower star rating.
On a positive note, the story line was cute. I live in Texas, so I can relate. I loved the whole southern/Texas/ranch theme. I wanted to read this book because Ellie and Gunner’s characters were going to UT Austin, so I kind of wanted the book to be more campus focused, but overall the story was cute, very mild and totally sweet. There are a few storyline issues, but still a nice read.
I would recommend this book, especially if you are a Texas native.
**Update - I didn't know book 2 was Jeff and Ari's story. I just found out. I think book 1 should have been JUST Ellie and Gunner. I am not sure if I am moving on to book 2 because this series just confused me, but I do love Jeff and Ari. I just hope book 2 has more tension and is more dramatic.
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