Author: Amalie Silver
Series: The Progress Series #1
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: January 15, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Psychological
Page Count: 259
Related Books: Word Play
I admit, I didn’t think much of Charlie at first. She was rounder than the girls who usually caught my eye. Not my type. But when I saw her sitting in that booth alone, for the first time something in my mind or my instincts or my heart told me to join her.
She defied me.
She challenged me.
She gave me hope.
Before I knew it, moving forward was my only option.
I couldn’t tell you when it happened, but it had to have been a gradual change; I never moved too quickly.
If someone would have told me earlier that year what I was going to go through, I wouldn't have believed them.
Jesse was so different from anyone I’d met before. And everyone I’ve met since. He sucked all the life out of me, in the best—and worst—ways.
We don’t get strong overnight. For most of us it takes time. Strength isn’t measured by how high and fast our walls go up, but how easily we can watch them fall.
Ok so in the effort of full discloser….this was a reread for me. I had read this book first back July 2013 and even have a review up here on the blog. I was going to rewrite a whole new review and I could have but I still love this book, even if most of it pisses me off. I still feel all the same things I felt back then so here goes the same-ish review… (I was not all the great writing reviews back then so I’m fixing this so I sound like grown up…lol)
This is the story of Jesse Anders and Charlie Johnson. Two lost souls who meet while both working at a local restaurant call the Crimson Cellar.
Jesse is the 25-year-old sexy, troubled man whore with mood swings like a pendulum and major trust issues. He will sleep with anything that is skinny, hot, walking and over 18.
Charlene or Charlie is a 22-year-old overweight hostess who suffers from panic attacks, has some awful self-esteem and basically walks around trying to hide from the world. She was terrorized all through school for her size which causes her to have both a horrible self-image of herself and panics attacks when put into situations she has no idea how to deal with. She is genuinely a sweet, nice girl who needs to see herself a little better. She is still living at home with her parents, has never had boyfriend and still a virgin.
Progress takes you through Jesse and Charlie’s very dysfunctional “friendship”.
Charlie figures out the Jesse is bipolar, has trust issues, anger issues and relationship issues. Enough issues for you? But she sees something in him that calls to her and she wants to be there for him. It also helps that he is hot as sin. One thing I know very much about is the hold a hot guy with issues up the ying-yang has on an overweight girl with self-esteem in the toilet. Jesse treats Charlie like crap half the book and sweet the other half. How could I like a book where the male lead treats the female lead like crap the majority of the book? I have no effin’ idea but I did, I really did. But with all that I could not help loving their very damaged but endearing relationship. He is just one big ball of issues but still very sexy in his own way.
He is so messed up but Amalie does a great job of helping you understand why and makes you care about him in spite of the craziness. His attitude is not all because of him being bipolar and that understanding gives him “pass”…some of the time.
I spent most of the book angry at Charlie but mostly because I saw some of myself in her when I was younger.
As a big girl, I understood her need to take the emotional abuse even when most would have told him to “go f*** himself” from the beginning. Throughout this book Charlie spends it dealing with her weight and by the end has lost a substantial amount of it, not in healthy way but when you’re big girl how does not always matter, with Jesse becoming that “extra” motivation she needed to lose the weight. As most girls, she has the “if I lose enough weight he will pay attention to me” mentality. She grows and gets stronger emotionally as she loses the weight. It is a wonderful thing to experience with her. After one very hot night with Jesse, Charlie finally decides to “put on her big girl panties” and Jesse decides to leave because of it…nice right?
The story of Progress was still the same but if has been cleaned up substantially. It really shows how much Amalie has grown as an author. She added meat to storyline so it could be better understood. I am excited to take the ride with Jesse and Charlie again and will be looking out for Interrupted coming out later this year.