Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

About the book
Stir Me Up is a contemporary new adult novel by Sabrina Elkins. The book was published in e-book format on 1st December 2013 and it is 268 pages long.

Even though she’s in her senior year of high school, Cami Broussard thinks she has everything figured out. After finishing school, she’ll work for her father in his French restaurant along with her boyfriend Luke. However, when her step-mother’s nephew is injured in Afghanistan comes to live with them to recuperate, everything changes for her. He’s everything she never wanted but she can’t stop thinking about him which makes things difficult when they live in the same house!

What I thought
Stir Me Up was one of those books I found on NetGalley but wasn’t really sure about before reading it as I hadn’t read anything else by the author. This one was such a nice surprise though.

The book begins revolving quite a lot around protagonist Callie’s father’s French restaurant. Callie is mixing working for her dad with going to high school but she does both because she knows she wants to be a chef. She has such a passion for food which shined through from the very first page. However, it is clear that her dad doesn’t really appreciate her skill in the kitchen and he also makes her prove herself just like any other employee. In fact, he probably works her harder and is harder on her than he is with anyone else. Although I did feel a bit sorry for Callie, I also loved the way that she stuck to her guns and fought for what she wanted. This also made her really easy to like.

The plot of Stir Me Up revolves around Callie having to deal with her step-mother’s nephew (Julian) moving in and taking over her room, and her life! He was a Marine in Afghanistan and comes back with terrible injuries. Not only does he have whiplash and broken bones, he left a leg below the knee and has PSTD. He does not cope well at all with his injuries and also doesn’t cope with having to move in with his aunt her family. To start with, I thought that Julian was a complete arsehole but I could also understand why he acted the way that he did. He was really mean to Callie for no real reason but he was really just trying to adjust and deal with everything he had experienced.

I absolutely loved watching the relationship between Callie and Julian develop. When they first meet it is clear that Callie doesn’t want him there and Julian hates being there just as much. Both of them have had to give things up and they don’t like it. They insult each other quite a lot but the banter between them is fantastic. You can tell that something will happen between them but are never sure when which made the plot more exciting. Once both characters get over themselves though, the tension between the two was sizzling hot and I couldn’t get enough of them.

What I loved the most about this book was the mix of themes and ideas throughout. The Marine/ PSTD/ injury thing was fantastic to read about and certainly quite educational. Then there is Callie and her dream of being a chef. Many books, both YA and NA, tend to focus on college which I guess is a good message to send to readers but it was refreshing to see a character want to do something different with their lives.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would happily read it again and again!

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