Saturday, December 8, 2012

{Review} Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

Title: Taking Chances
Author: Molly McAdams
Format: e-book
Publisher: William Morrow
Release date: September 1, 2012
Date Read: November 2, 2012 - November 4, 2012

Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.

Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.


TAKING CHANCES remains one of my least favorite books of the year. I have never - never - been more enraged in a book.

I didn't finish reading it. I quit at about sixty percent and skimmed the rest. I couldn't bear to do it. I'm not brave enough. The book outraged me. You're going to be hearing a lot of these words, so prepare yourself.


Going to butt in here before I start writing and say that's it incredibly cliché and must've been done a billion times before. A lot of 'New Adult' books simply follow the same trend, but the only one I've found worth reading is EASY.

TAKING CHANCES follows Harper, an eighteen-year old who needs to be featured on Breaking Amish. She's homeschooled, lives with her father (she calls him 'Sir') on the base, and her best friends are a bunch of young Marines. 

She's basically missed out on everything girls her age should've at least done, and decides to go to college at San Diego State University to escape her controlled life. She quickly befriends her roommate - a kind-hearted promiscuous girl who's brother, Chase, is a hot underground fighter. 

After introducing Harper to Chase and Brandon (another fighter), Harper turns into a party-girl and ends up in the most ridiculous love triangle I've ever read with Chase and herboyfriend Brandon. A night of lustful passion ends up completely turning Harper's life around.

Basically, that means that Harper cheats on her boyfriend Brandon and has sex - twice - with Chase. Without protection, since she claims she doesn't care and just needs him. Now, darlings, what sometimes happens when someone has sex without taking a birth control pill or using protection?

Harper ends up pregnant. What else? Of course, she's shocked and sickened that she's knocked up. Meanwhile I'm just laying on my bed trying hard not to laugh. What the fuck did this girl expect? 

And while she's doing it with Chase, she actually has the fucking nerve to think:

"I wasn't meant to do this with Brandon."


AHAHAHAHA, what the hell is wrong with this woman?

The phrase "I love you" is used over one hundred and nineteen times, and over seventy of them are Harper telling Brandon and Chase she loves them - or Brandon and Chase telling Harper they love her, after they've learned she cheated on them.

Let that sink in for a moment.


Are you kidding me? Every other page, it's SOMEBODY going on about how much they wuvvvvv Harper.

Throughout TAKING CHANCES, various women try to steal Chase or Brandon from Harper by sending nude pictures and such. One night, Harper finds Chase in bed with another woman and refuses to believe him when he tells her that he genuinely doesn't know what's happening. This is around the time when Chase and Harper are sort of planning to live together and get married for their baby and what not.

You'd think that Harper would actually wise up and realize that's she's surrounded by a bunch of jealous bitches who want to steal her popularity and her men, according to her, but she's too stupid to think for one moment. So the first thing Harper thinks when she sees Chase and the girl is:

"I recoiled at the thought of him asking me to marry him while he'd been cheating on me."

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

She has absolutely no right to fly into a rage because he'd "supposedly" been cheating on her. She did it, many times, and still has no regrets because she was "in love with Chase and Brandon", and apparently that makes it all better.

"I was more in love with Chase than I realized, but I couldn't live without Brandon."

That is the biggest load of bullshit I've read all year. 

And Chase actually ends up dying - so not expecting that - when he runs a red light and hits a semi-truck trying to prove that he didn't cheat on Harper. 

TAKING CHANCES continues with Harper's pregnancy and the aftermath of Chase's death. She turns to Brandon when Chase dies, and seemingly doesn't give a shit after that. Everything she does is supported by "Chase would've wanted this," when if I was Chase I would've been like this:

Harpy ends up getting married to Brandon at nineteen (or twenty, I forgot), and her child is born alongside Chase and Brandon's happy families. 

Two months after Chase died.

TWO MONTHS. His family got over it so quickly! And theyencouraged Harper to move in with Brandon as soon as possible, which makes no effing sense.

By the way, you ought to know that Brandon's family was not the least bit upset when they discovered she cheated on him and wasn't pregnant with Brandon's child.

Harpy gets knocked up ONCE AGAIN - this time before she's twenty-two, I believe, and Chase is referred to as "Uncle Chase" by Harper's children. This is wrong. Even if Brandon is the children's adopted father, Chase is not some random dead uncle - HE IS THEIR FATHER.


Harper "Harpy" (I call her that) is a disgusting hypocrite, and for someone who grew up under her father's thumb, she sure grows up pretty fast. Despite no previous sexual experience, of course she's amazing in bed.

Seems legit.

Obnoxious, unlikable, immature, naïve, snobby - this only begins to describe her. Everyone - and I do mean everyfuckingone - adores and loves and CHERISHES Harpy for reasons unknown to me. She gets away with everything, and people worship the ground she walks on. Every man who sees her falls head-over-heels in love with her, because she's supposed to be "perfect".


She thinks of marrying both Brandon and Chase so often in such a short period of time it made me sick. One day she's in love with Brandon, the next she's making out with Chase and confessing her love, and then a week later she's telling Brandon how she won't be able to survive without him.

Apparently, she is the most beautiful girl anyone has ever seen, and the lengths taken to empathize her perfection are enraging and unreal. 

"[...] everyone said I was the cutest pregnant woman they'd seen. My legs and arms hadn't changed a bit, my hips were not even a fraction of an inch wider, the only difference was my chest and stomach [...] I looked like a normal Harper again... until I turned to the side or faced front."

Somehow I really fucking doubt that. You can't get pregnant, have the baby, and look exactly the same - like a petite Victoria's Secret model, mind you - the next day. It's impossible and incredibly stupid.

She calls every single girl who lays an eye on her two men sluts, whores, tramps, skanks - anything she can possibly make up. 

"I didn't recognize you without that tramp on your arm.""Go find another brainless bimbo to screw.""You really thought you could marry a whore?"“Oh I'm sorry, but I don't have any STDs. I'm not your type.” 

And I really hate saying this (trust me, as a passive feminist it pains me to write this), but if anyone is a slut, it's Harpy. Not because she wears short clothing or sleeps around without a partner, but because she bounces back and forth between love interests and leads them on. Being "in love" with the man you cheated on doesn't grant you a free pass to "it's fucking fine" land, you idiot. She does end up continuously cheating on both boys for weeks.

Plus, she keeps on claiming that her child is in her stomach.

I'm pretty sure I lost brain cells reading this.

Harpy spends most of her time feeling bad for herself (she should throw a pity party because she's a beautiful rich white girl with shitloads of guys in love with her, right? POOR HARPER AWWWW WHAT PAIN IN LIFE) and her woe-is-me attitude got annoying real fast. She even compared herself to Elena from The Vampire Diaries, which really was the last straw. How could this girl even begin to even- UGH. UGH. UGH.

Chase was a typical douchebag with absolutely nothing charming about him. He screwed girls on his couches, not his bed or even his room, because of course, they're too shitty for that. Chase was about as unsexy as you could get, and as typical bad boys do, he went mad without Harpy, and his favorite thing to do was preach about how "special" and "different" she was. He was possessive, controlling, and I absolutely hated him. He even tried to pull the "you-can't-wear-this" card on Harpy like Travis from Beautiful Disaster.

will fuck you up Pictures, Images and Photos

Brandon is dull, boring, and supposed to be sweet. Now typically, I'll always fall for a properly-written gentleman, but Brandon is just... plain. I don't know what anyone saw in him. And he was too nice to Harpy - trust me, if I found out she'd cheated on me, I'd be so much more upset. He forgave her so fast it was unbelievable. After all her crap he suffered through to discover she was pregnant with another man's child? I would've been pissed.

The surrounding characters blend together and have no importance in my mind. And everyone is rich and has money and faces no problems in freaking life except for love triangles and cheat-babies. Don't forget that every friend of Harpy's is stunningly beautiful, too!

Oh, and WHITE.

They're all gorgeous, rich white bastards with a billion people in love with them.


Simply put, terrible. Various commas were missing when they should have been included, the dialogue is very stiff and unnatural (I mean honestly. What teenager regularly uses the term 'oh my word' anymore?) the style itself was dull and odd, and am I the only one who doesn't see people's eyes darken?


When have you ever seen a guy's eyes turn a darker color when they're angry or passionate? I have never seen this shit. Will authors please stop making character's eyes do crazy stuff that... isn't... real.

Yes, those are actually MY eyes from my vlog review of TAKING CHANCES. Make it a meme!

Unless they have an eye disorder or some funky disease, normal people's eyes don't darken on cue. Stop this stupidity. Seriously. Stop.



This book made me very upset, most of all. I can't believe that Harper is probably an inspiration or something to people. Her life had a happy ending that she never deserved in the first place.

And look, I get it. There are books about cheating, and I'm not so furious at the cheating part of it, because, well... that's what it's about. People doing stupid things. I'm mad because the main character doesn't even think about what she's going to do, does it without regrets, and spends the whole rest of the book bitching, being a hypocrite, and blaming everyone else.

We should be able to sympathize but not like or forgive the main character when she does this, and we should feel for the men she cheated on. But TAKING CHANCES acts like it's not a problem to do these things.

In fact, it glorifies it. Teenage pregnancy? Check that, or check it twice, actually. Teenage marriage? Check. Slut-shaming? Check. Adultery? How about a check for that.

Unlikable characters, amateur writing, angering messages, selfless slut-shaming, an unoriginal plot make TAKING CHANCES one of my least favorite reads of the year. Or my life.



"Taking Chances" = cheating on your boyfriend and getting pregnant, and basically causing the lover's death.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.


  1. you're actually brilliant. I couldn't agree more with everything you said about this book.
    I started yesterday, and I really had high hopes for it (after reading Easy & Pushing The Limits I've been in the mood for Contemporary/Realistic)

    after about 10% I was ready to give up, the book just irritated me that much. But I thought I'll see if it gets better. Well as you know it didn't, and I ended up sitting ranting at my boyfriend while he was playing the xbox, he kept telling me just to stop reading but it got to the point that I had to see how it ended because it was just that ridiculous.

    Needless to say I didn't finish it. I finally gave up at 12 o'clock , about 80% done, and went to bed. Waking up this morning I have no desire to finish it and from the sounds of it I didn't miss much anyway.

    I think the think I find really funny is on goodreads, people are going crazy for it. Saying how its their new favourite book and it had them crying and what not..
    I don't get it... did I miss the part where that book was the slightest bit sad or inspirational? even if I did like the book you weren't even given time to grieve Chase because he was forgotten right away.

    Anyway... sorry about the long message, this is the first thing I've said about it since waking up.
    Just wanted to say I really like your blog/reviews. :)

    1. Yes! Lately I've been into reading contemporary YA/NA, to see if there'd be one I liked.

      You are so kind! Thank you. <3

      Everybody LOVES it on Goodreads, but if you notice a lot of those people give glowing reviews to most contemporary YA/NA. So I don't know if they're being honest, or if they're just those reviewers who give 5 stars to everything.

      I ranted to my father, and he either ignored me or also told me to stop reading it, which of course I didn't. McAdam's books.... They leave me so curious and I always end up reading them.


    2. I've been really into them since last year thanks to the likes of Lola and the Boy Next Door and Sarah Dessen (happens to be on of my favourites) but now and again I get a book like this and i just think... wtf. I find though there is a lot of contemporary YA/NA that treat the reader like a kid. I mean some of the language used is just silly. I don't know what teenagers in America talk like but most of the teenagers in England defiantly don't like that.

      haha you're welcome. Also your vlog was bloody hilarious. I love your dog :)

      Yeah I understand what you mean, I just couldn't believe that there were people out there who actually liked it. And not just liked it a little bit, but enough to say it's their favourite

      I haven't read anything else by her but I can honestly say I don't think I will be rushing out to get the rest haha

    3. I absolutely adore ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS! I liked LOLA too, but not as much.

      We don't say 'oh my word' for sure. Like, no. Just no.

      Thank you! Hehehe, I run a dog-sitting business, so she's not mine - actually, her owner is friend of mine and a professional ballerina at The Royal Ballet School in London.

      I knowwwwwww! You know, I'm all for opinions, but honestly? The writing was horrendous and the characters just wanted to make me scream.

    4. I haven't read Anna And The French Kiss yet but I'm dying too. Lola was brilliant, hope that the other one is as good haha.

      LOL well English people don't talk the way that half the world thinks they do either, so its ok.

      awww bless, you look after it when she's in school or do you live over here too?

      Haha same, I really don't like when I don't like an author and it puts me off the rest, I try my hardest to read the rest to give it a try but it never works like that. I'm currently going to give Wake by Amanda Hocking a try. After being recommended Trylle series by a lot of people, I was very disappointed and have stayed clear of her since then, but she has a lot of books out so I'm trying hahah

    5. OMG YOU HAVEN'T? I think you'll love it. I thought it was a billion times better than LOLA. One of my favorites, for sure.

      I'm watching her while Miss Ballerina is in London with her mom. She travels back and forth, but I watch the poodle when her mom leaves, too.

      I read TRYLLE and had seriously mixed feelings about it. She had another zombie book, too, and I hated it, so I might or might not check out WAKE.

    6. Nope haha ( I only read Lola and the Boy Next Door before christmas haha) butt because you reminded me of how much I wanted to read it and told me it was good I bought it for my kindle yesterday hahah

      Ahh I see. I'd love to be a ballerina, but sadly I cant dance to save my life. She must be very good then to be doing it over here :)

      I just didn't like it. I thought the idea behind it is was really good and it had the potentially to be a great book but thought the writing style was childish if you know what I mean. Is it Hollowland that's about Zombies? I might have to give that a read. If Wake is ok that is because if its not I think I might just avoid her all together.


      She's amazing at it. Danced for the queen a few months ago. <3

      Yessss, Hollowland. Not a huge fan of Amanda Hocking, I LOVE her tweets.

  2. What a story. I spent the whole day doing nothing but reading this. I found myself laughing and shedding a few tears. You could really feel the love that Harper had for Chase and Brandon. I can see why she had such a hard time. I would read this book again.
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