Author: Abigail Strom
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5
Thanks to NetGalley and Abigail Strom for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Ever since junior high and an ill-fated game of seven minutes in heaven, Rikki Eisendrath and Sam Payne have hated each others’ guts. But when they end up at the same college—and the same dorm—they figure it’s time to declare a truce.
They even become friends . . . sort of. But when Sam asks Rikki to model for his sculpting project, they start spending more time together—and her feelings for him get more complicated.
She tries to focus on the guy she’s been crushing on instead. But Sam’s the one she can’t stop thinking about, even though their arguments are starting to heat up as much as the chemistry between them.
With antagonism and attraction this intense, there’s bound to be an explosion. But when the dust settles, will Sam and Rikki be enemies, friends . . . or something more?
My request to read Rikki was approved in September, right after its release. But it took me until December to finally read it. I guess I didn't expect much of it, though when I saw how many positive reviews there were on NetGalley, I decided it was time to read it. And I am so glad I did, because it's such a sweet book.
Rikki has always been some kind of nerdy girl, spending her free time studying instead of partying like her friends. She's been okay with that, but then in junior high, she decided to join a party for once, wanting to get her first kiss as she's the last one of her friends to still be unkissed. Her crush just moved away, so that leaves her ending up with Sam - for seven minutes in heaven. Sam is just like Rikki, only male. He's the boy who always challenges her - both of them having kind of a competition going on about who's the better student.
After Sam gives Rikki her first kiss, they somehow end up so mad at each other that they go through the next school years without really talking to each other. It's only when a family drama involves Sam that Rikki does something selfless and they talk to each other again. On top of that, they're going to the same college as in they probably have to see each other a lot more often now. Eventually, they settle on friends-terms, but pretty soon Rikki's feelings toward Sam aren't friendly ones only.
Alright, I can't write that much about what happens in the book. I'd spoil too much, sorry. Before I start talking about their friendship/relationship, let me tell you about Rikki's parents. I think it's great that an author is brave enough or creative enough to let a character have two mothers instead of the old-fashioned mom and dad concept. The marriage problems are still the same and none of Rikki's friends made any bad comment about her having two moms. I very much liked that.
So... The writing is probably one of the most realistic I've read in a while. I could always understand and relate to Rikki's thoughts, as well as her wish to finally be herself without feeling ashamed or anything in college. Strange enough that students tend to pretend in high school and within a summer of freedom, they find themselves wanting more. And just like that they don't bully other students anymore and just let them be whoever they want to be. The authors captured the truth, but that doesn't mean I have to understand teenager's minds, does it?!
I absolutely loved reading about the seven minutes in heaven scenario and the other times Rikki faced Sam when they weren't in college yet. Those were probably my favourite parts, along with the scenes in which Sam made that sculpture of Rikki. When the book was heading toward both of their first days of college, I got a little bored. That may be the wrong word, but I can't think of a better one. It's me and totally my fault - the author is not to blame - but I'm reading so many new adult books that I get tired of reading about all this moving in stuff, making new friends. Especially the first cafeteria scenes weren't my thing. Luckily, the first confusing of all the names didn't last long and I eventually knew who was who.
Through every chapter, I'd be looking forward to reading a conversation between Rikki and Sam. We don't get to read his point of view and he is pretty charming (and very naughty at the same time, dear boy!), yet he'd make a great book boyfriend. A better one than Justin, for sure. Gosh, I didn't like that guy. He was necessary for the story, I get that. Anyway, he was so annoying and while reading the concert scene, all I wanted to do was punch him in the face. He moved way too fast with Rikki and I wondered how the hell she managed to stay quiet and just let it happen. I guess a good book makes you want to slap the main character in the face sometimes, haha.
Is there any more I can say?! I enjoyed this book very much, more than I expected. It's the kind of book that I'd re-read over and over again, because the story is so great. However, I'm sorry to say that I'm not sure whether I'll continue this series. The next book will be about Claire, a college friend of Rikki's and I'm just not that interested in finding out about her story. Rikki's and Sam's story will be the best in this series, doesn't matter what. That's not supposed to sound harsh or anything, I only say that to express how sweet I thought Rikki was.