The Pledge by Laura Ward and Christine Manzari
Release Date: July 27th, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Where You Can Find It: Amazon | Goodreads
**I received an advanced copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**
Taren needs a do-over. She’s decided the best way to put the high school bullies behind her is to pledge a Taylor-Swift-lip-syncing, beer-guzzling, sorority. Sisterhood helps Taren find the acceptance she’s always craved, but not the love she needs.
Alec wants freedom. To escape his father’s iron fist and unrealistic expectations, he pledges a campus acrobatics club where he finds that drugs and alcohol aren’t the only ways to get high. His addiction to danger helps him gain his independence, but it comes at a heavy price.
When the two cross paths, Alec fears his undeniable attraction to the party girl just might threaten everything he’s worked so hard to earn. Taren hasn’t forgotten that Alec humiliated her back in high school, but she also can’t deny the chemistry they share.
Alec and Taren have nothing in common, but fate is bound and determined to bring them together. They know falling in love is a risk, and yet it’s too hard to ignore. When their worlds clash and they both end up suffering, will they fight to stay together? Or are some pledges too hard to keep?
College is a place where one can start over and become an entirely new version of themselves separate from who they were in high school. That is exactly what Taren wanted to do when she began her freshman year and it seemed to be going wonderfully as she met new friends and was even persuaded to rush a sorority. Of course, that came to a bit of a screeching halt when she saw the one person from her past life she didn’t want to see, Alec Hart. Finding out the guy you had a crush on in high school who you thought was a good guy but who subsequently decided to embarrass you in front of the entire school when he rejected you goes to the same college as you is the last thing that Taren wanted. And on Alec’s end the feeling was entirely mutual due to the fact that he thought she was the reason the second half of his senior year of high school was ruined. Little did they know the chance encounters they had their freshman year would lead to so much more.
This was an absolutely adorable new adult romance that brought me back to college making me miss it even more than I do now especially since this is the kind of romance I wish I had the chance to experience when I was in college. Despite the ups and downs that Taren and Alec faced in the beginning of the novel it was totally worth it for what happened after they realized the other was not who they thought he/she was. The pacing of this novel and the unfolding of their romance was wonderful because not only were you let wondering when it was going to happen but you also got to see how each character developed as the story moves from their freshman year into their sophomore year of college.
My favorite aspect of Taren and Alec’s relationship was when it is compared to the red string of fate which is something that Alec is learning about in one of his classes. I loved this comparison because it brought depth to their relationship as well as allowed the reader to see how all relationships could be seen in this concept. It is even expanded to encompass the relationship that Taren builds with William as part of her sorority’s philanthropy project. This overall idea that you are connected to a person no matter what happens in life by this red string therefore meaning that at some point your lives will cross again was just a profound idea to me and having it woven into the story made me connect with the characters that much more.
Overall, there was an authenticity to the book in regards to the college life that was depicted that, when mixed with this, at some times, all-consuming romance just made this book so attention grabbing for me. Despite what happens along the way with Taren and Alec and the obstacles they must overcome both individually and as a couple, you can’t help but hope that regardless of the pledges they made to the other aspects of their college lives they are still able to uphold the pledge that they come to make with one another. This is such a sweet and adorably cute romance that allows you to continue to believe in the power that love holds when you find the one you are meant to be with even if it happens to coincide with the best 4 years of your life: college.