Good for You by Tammara Webber (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
Teen screen idol Reid is in deep trouble. Dori, a community service supervisor, is determined to set him a good example - and romance is the furthest thing from her mind. Or his. But there's something irresistible about Reid that not even good girl Dori can ignore . . . From the blurb.
With each book of Tammara Webber's I read, the more my love for those books and admiration for her talent grows. I have becomes so invested in the Between the Lines series, especially in Reid, the sexy, flirty, and surprisingly not-as-shallow-as-he-seems bad boy lead of the series. I love him, I love these books, and (would you believe it?) I loved Good for You!
After crashing his new Porsche into a house (!) when drink driving, court decrees Reid has to spend a month in community service. Specifically on the Habitat for Humanity project, which involves renovating a house for the family whose house he crashed into. Dori is his community service supervisor, and is completely unimpressed by Reid's celebrity status, arrogance, and entitled attitude. Reid, equally, has no interest in his do-gooder supervisor who thinks herself superior. Reid is determined to have as much fun as possible while he breaks his back doing manual labour, and if that means winding up Dori, so be it. Maybe it's the summer heat and lack of air conditioning, perhaps it's the paint fumes, but the longer two are in each other's company, the more they find attraction blossoming.
I have loved Reid since the very beginning of the series. Despite the fact he's a bad boy, and doesn't always treat girls the way he should, there's just something about him that is completely captivating. It's his confidence and his charisma; just like he draws in every girl he meets, he draws in me as a reader. But Reid isn't completely shallow and uncaring. He takes his work seriously, and works bloody hard at it. He also has to deal with the difficult relationship he has with his father - which would be pretty much non-existent if it wasn't for the fact that his dad runs his life - and watching his alcoholic mother fall further and further into the bottle. Nights out, parties and girls? Sure, that's Reid's idea of fun, but that's also his distraction from his home life. And as we saw with Emma in the previous books, he isn't completely unaffected by every girl he comes across.
With Dori, Reid is presented with a girl who has absolutely no interest in him or who he is. In fact, she can't stand him or what he stands for. For the first time ever, Reid has the challenge of a lifetime; with Emma, at least she was interested; Dori wants nothing to do with him. Messing with Dori's head is going to be hard, and he's going to have to work harder at it. But the more time he spends with Dori, getting to know her and how genuinely good she is, how much she really wants to make a difference, make the world a better place, he can't help but grudgingly respect and admire her.And it's not long before Dori isn't just a challenge, but someone he's actually attracted to, for a reason other than looks.
Dori is amazing. She really is unbelievably selfless. The things she does - Habitat for Humanity, the Vacation Bible School, her mission in Quito, Ecuador - leave me full of admiration. And because of her values, she really has no time for time wasters who have their heads up their own backsides. When I first started reading the book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like her. Someone who is that good is sure to be unbelievable annoying right? Overly cheery and positive, who preaches to everyone she meets about being better people, surely? Nope. She's just a normal girl. Dori is incredible with all she does for others, but this is just normal for her, it's who she is, and she doesn't consider herself some kind of hero because of it. And that's not all there is to her life, and it doesn't mean she's a saint. Dori has a past. And her present becomes pretty damn difficult too. Oh my god, it killed me just how difficult. So heartbreaking, and unpredictable. So unfair. And it really shakes her. Just like Reid, Dori isn't the person you expect her to be.
Unfortunately, there's not much I can say about this book. However, I will say there's a reason this book is called Good for You. And in multiple ways in which that title works. And the events that lead up to the end - that perfect, beautiful end - as messy as they are, most, but not all, are kind of worth it. By the time this book ends, I was even more in love with Reid than I was before I started it. Even just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes, because I am just so unbelievably happy. It's relief. And this is cryptic, but I can't get any more clearer without spoiling the story. I just wish I could give Reid the biggest hug. I wish I was Dori! I was so worried about reading this book as there was no Emma or Graham, but I actually have to say this is the best book of the series so far. I'm really not sure the events of Good for You would have happened without Between the Lines and Where You Are, and I'm really not sure I would have reacted as I did to Good for You if I hadn't read the other two, so those stories are pivotal, but I really loved Good for You. It's all one big story, Reid's story, and I love where it led to. And where I know it's going to go from here.
Finally, I just have to say that Webber is such a talented writer! I get so wrapped up in her books while reading them, it's a bit of a shock to the system when I put the book down and have to get back to reality. It may sound odd, but I got so engrossed in Good for You because of the incredible story she tells, that my heart actually sank when I put the book down for whatever reason, and realised that it is just a book, that it's not real. When reading a Webber novel, everything else just disappears, and the book is all there is. So when I snap back to reality, I feel kind of bereft to know these characters aren't real. That I am completely unable to be friends with them. But it's quickly followed by a wave of awe and admiration that Webber is able to grab me so much with her words. Absolutely fantastic.
I'm reading Here Without You now, the fourth and final book in the series, and I want to power through it, but I'm already feeling so scared about finishing it. The end of the series. This may just be the hardest series I've ever had to say goodbye to. I'm not looking forward to it. But I will always look forward to whatever Webber writes in the future. Undeniably my favourite New Adult author. I am in complete and utter awe of her.
Thank you to Penguin for the review copy.
Published: 6th June 2013
Tammara Webber's Website
My other reviews from the series:
Between the Lines (Between the Lines Book 1)
Where You Are (Between the Lines Book 2)